Archive for the ‘linguistik terapan’ Category

Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s Five-type interpretation errors in a legal intepretation in Indonesia

by Tunggul Puji Lestari

Master’s Program in Lingustics of Brawijaya University


This study is conducted to examine the generalisability and the coverage of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s (2012) findings. This study uses real interpretation data taken from a court trial transcript. This study shows the five types of interpretation errors are also found in legal interpretation, as well as in medical interpretation as proved by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. The difference in the frequency is possibly caused by the difference of the field of the study where the interpretation is conducted. It is also found that real data research may cover wider area in interpretation’s errors analysis than simulated scenario research.

Key words: legal interpretation, interpretation error

Interpreting has become an important activity to support the transfer of communication between different language speakers (Napier, 2007; Ra & Napier, 2013). Many factors contribute to the neediness of good interpreter, not only the difference of the language, but also cultural differences and the field of study of the interpretation (Ra and Napier, 2013; Gercek, 2008; Wieringen, Harmsen & Bruijnzeels, 2002). The study of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi (2012) entitled The accuracy of medicl interpretations: A pilot study of errors in Japanese-English interpreters during a simulated medical scenario published in The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research shows the relationship of those factors. They design their study from their worry upon the accurateness of interpretation in a field that is so close with life threatening consequences: medical. Re-quoting Brach, Fraser & Paez (2005, p.242) in this study, interpretation blatantly plays important role in determining the quality of communication between patients and physician that may have impact on health resource.

Measuring the accuracy of medical interpretation is the main objective in this study. Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi focus their study on the percentage of errors occurs on medical interpretation. The errors found in this study are categorized into five: omission, false fluency, substitution, addition and editorialisation.

This study was conducted in Tokyo between March 2009 and April 2011, using a simulated case based on the scenario. The participants of this study were native Japanese speakers who also spoke English fluently. Before the study was conducted, they were informed about the data of the patient and the situation of the patient. The writers argue that this giving information procedure is in a line with the real situation in medical interpretation that the interpreters are also given information about the assigned case.During the study, the scenario was scripted and the actors, that take a role as physician who did not speak English and a patient’s mother who spoke English fluently, were instructed to follow the script.

The simulated medical case based on the scenario is believed to help the writers in examining the participants’ performance from a common baseline. The simulation model in research itself has been discussed in Kleijnen’s Theory and methodology – Verification and validation of simulation models (1993). Kleijnen states that the validation of simulation models may not result in as perfect as the reality. However, the real model may lead to the collection of scarce or abundant data. Kleijnen suggests these data analysis to help validating the data collected from simulated models: sensitivity analysis (based on the design of the experiments and regression analysis) and risk analysis. Those are for estimating which inputs are really important and for quantifying the risks associated with inputs for which no data can be obtained at all, respectively.

This study show several interesting results. After identifying 1,242 utterances in the verbatim transcript, the total of 799 errors occurred with the most frequent interpretation errors are omission-type errors, that is followed by false-fluency errors on the second place but with total errors frequency only a half of the omission-type errors. From the study, it is also revealed that interpreters with less previous experience made more errors than those who are experienced. The discussion points the development of a certification system for medical interpreters should be the priority task.

Doubts on Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi (2012)’s Study

On their conclusion and future works chapter, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi stated,

“… because this study used a simulated situation, the generalisability of our results should be explored in other scenarios and settings, as well as studies of actual medical encounters. It was diifficult to closely analyse communication between interlocutors through interpreters in this scenarion based study of interpretations, because it was not possible to examine the actual consequences of errors.” (2012, p.16)

The quotation above shows Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s doubts that arise from the findings of this study. The field of the study, that is medical, seems too narrow to accept this study finding as the imagery of interpretation errors in all fields. Analysis on other fields of interpretation are needed to examine the formulation of five types interpretation errors.

Another doubt that comes from this study is concerning the design of the study which is employing simulation scenario. By using this unnatural environment, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi understood that it may eliminate many unique findings that are possible to happen during the interpretation, includes the consequences of errors.


Research Objective

Starting from these doubts, this research is designed to examine the result of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s findings concerning the employability of five types of interpretation errors in other field of the study. This study is proposed to analyse the employability of the interpretation errors in legal interpretation. Legal interpretation, moreover court interpretation, is a field under community interpretation that is regarded as special because of its specific focus (Bancroft, Bendana, Bruggeman, & Feuerle, 2013; Keselman et al., 2010; Fischman, 2008). This specialty is not only in form of the place of interpretation (court), but also in form of the variety of the case that forces the interpreter to master wide area of vocabularies. Considering this specialty, this study is hoped to result in important findings that depict general findings of all field of interpretation.

Many unique findings are hopefully revealed in this study because the data will be collected from real situation of interpretation, different from simulation scenario interpretation that was conducted by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. Following questions are proposed as guideline for this study:

  1. Do the five types of interpretation errors also occur in legal interpretation?
  2. Is there any unique findings found as the result of the real situation interpretation?


Reaching the Objectives

To reach the objective of this research, an analysis of interpretation errors is done upon a real trial transcript that involves interpretation activity. The transcript is taken from the Trial in 2013 at Central Jakarta. This trial represented an ad de charge witness from a North America region, coded RR. The interpreter’s academic background is from law studies, taking her Bachelor of Law and Master of Law degrees in Indonesia.

The analysis of errors in interpretation is based on the five-type of interpretation errors in Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s study. Those are addition-type error, false fluency-type error, omission-type error, substitution-type error and editorialisation-type error. Addition-type error is error that occurs when the interpreter adds unspoken words or phrases to the interpretation. False fluency-type error occurs when the interpreter uses words or phrases that are incorrect or not exist in a particular language. Omission-type error is when the interpreter does not interpret words or phrases that were uttered. Substitution-type error is when words or phrases are substituted, while editorialisation error is when interpreter’s personal view is added to the interpretation

The occurrences of five types of interpretation errors

From the transcript, 128 utterances are analyzed and it is found 16 utterances that contain interpretation errors. 19 errors are identified, with addition-type errors become the most frequent errors in this transcript with 6 occurrences (31.5%). Omission-type and substitution-type errors share similar frequency, that are 4 times (21.1%) per type of errors, followed by editorialisation type and false-fluency type with 3 (15.7%) and 2 (10.5%).


Addition-type errors, the most frequent errors, occur in form of adding words or phrases although the interlocutor did not speak that words. As shown in this utterance,

RR                        :    Yes. It was contained manual safety of environmental and the front page was the managing director endorsement. So it had approval right to the top.

Interpreter             :    Ya. Di dalamnya termuat atau termuat di dalam sebuah pedoman atau buku pedoman manual. SE adalah singkatan dari Safety and Health. Keselamatan, kesehatan, dan lingkungan hidup. Dan di halaman pertama tersebut memang ada suatu tanda tangan oleh managing director yang harus ditanda tangani oleh managing director. Jadi, memang demikian bahwa disetujui diatas.


The interpreter added not only a word or phrase, but several sentences although the interlocutor did not speak that sentences. That utterance also shows an editorialisation type error. It indicates that the interpreters knew the content of the manual well, and she wanted to give clear explanation. He gave that explanation in attempts to speak for the witness.

The utterance below is the example of false-fluency error that occurs in the interpretation.

Head of the Council   :Saudara Saksi, selain TPH. Komponen-komponen apa lagi yang saudara ketahui di dalam penelitian ketika saudara berada tidak bersama ALI tersebut.

Interpreter             :    While working with ALI DIKRI. In addition to TPH, what other componens did you learn about during the research and the testing conducted together with ALI DIKRI?


From that utterance, interpreter’s false-fluency is clearly seen when she interpreted tidak bersama (split up) to ‘together’. The message was delivered in opposite meaning, and it would result in different or even wrong answer. In court trial, when all information are required to be true or based on the fact, this kind of error is not allowed at all.

Omission-type errors occur in almost same manner: the interpreter ignored a or several word(s), or even sentences, in their interpretation. As shown in this utterance, a sentence contains important information was ignored by the interpreter.

RR                        :    Yes. I was in center of experties within HES and that team still exist and I moved out and MIKE moved in and that structure still exist. There was organization and having the expert present.

Interpreter             :    Ya. Pusat keahlian dalam tim HES masih ada sampai sekarang. Ketika saya pindah dan kemudian MIKE masuk dan setelah itu juga terdapat kontiunoitas dalam bagian tersebut.


The interpreter did not interpret the last sentence of the interlocutor, although this sentence gave information about the organization and the expert that might be important for this case. The interpreter also made editorialization error while she used kontinuitas (continuity) as the interpretation of ‘exist’.


Other unique findings

Besides those errors, this study also reveals some unique findings that were not analyzed by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi. It is possibly caused by the design of this study that uses real data in form of transcipt. Simulation and scenario did not allow Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi to closely analyse the triangle communication among two interlocutors and interpreter.

The first unique finding is about interpreter’s tendency in providing the actual situation or giving information about the transition of the context. From the transcript, it is found that the interpreter often provided information about situation or context transition. It happened in four occurrences, for example:

Head of the Council   :          Beralasan keberatan dari Penasehat Hukum. Oleh karena itu, diambil alih oleh Majelis. Terkait dengan izin. Apakah saudara mengetahui terkait dengan izin Bioremediasi?

Interpreter             :    The Panel has taken over the question and the question is about the permit. Is there permit required for the Bioremediation? What do you know about the permit Bioremediation processs?

The situation that happens in the trial was the panel taking over the question, and the interpreter considered this information as important so she informed the witness. In trial, the significance of this interpretation is to give initial understanding to the witness before he answers the question given. Without this information, the witness might find problem in answering the question that was not similar with the previous question’s context.

Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kuichi wrote in their conclusion that it is impossible to examine the consequences of the errors. In this research, the consequences of the errors are found and examine, although only in one occurrence:

Public Prosecutor  :    Apakah di dalam SOP tersebut itu mencantumkan mengenai range TPH dalam COCS yang akan di Bioremediasi?

Interpreter             :    In that SOP were there any indication of TPH range of SOP that would have to be Bioremediated?

RR                        :    No. There was no limit on TPH. There were requires to mix together homogenitation the concentration.

Interpreter             :    Tidak. Tidak terdapat suatu ambang batas tertinggi mengenai TPH. Memang ada suatu kewajiban ataupun persyaratan bahwa harus dilakukan pencampuran untuk homogenisasi.

Public Prosecutor  :    Maksud pertanyaan saya adalah apakah di dalam SOP tersebut mencantumkan range TPH yang akan di Bioremediasi? Berapa persen sampai berapa persen yang harus dilakukan Bioremediasi dalam SOP tersebut? Itu pertanyaan saya.

Interpreter             :    The question is whether there was a range indicated in the SOP. The range of TPH are the COCS that going to Bioremediated. So was there a range from certain percentage to certain percentage?

RR                        :    I don’t believe so.

Interpreter             :    Saya kira tidak.


The interpreter made fatal false-fluency error by stating ‘TPH range of SOP’ when the public prosecutor asked about ‘range THP dalam COCS’ (TPH range in COCS). The consequence of this error was the witness could not get the message meaning correctly and provided unexpected answer. The public prosecutor needed to repeat his question that was followed by interpreter’s revision on her interpretation, so the witness could understand the meaning and answered it.

The last unique finding in this research is that the interpreter also revising the message that is not well-structured. A bad structured sentence will produce difficulties for the witness, who is not Indonesian and can not speak Indonesian, to get the meaning of the answer. This revision only occurs once in this utterance:

Public Prosecutor  :    Untuk di SLN ada enggak? Saat Saksi ini masih ada di Indonesia.

Interpreter             :    At SLN, were there any SBF when you were still in Indonesia?

By revising the structure of the sentence, the witness might easily catch the meaning of the interlocutor. This revision actually indicates the editorialisation, but it is not considered as error because it helps the process of information exchange and may result in the improvement in interpretation accuracy.


In their study, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi found that the five types of interpretation errors occured in simulation medical scenario. Omission type errors became the most frequent errors with false-fluency as the second most frequent. After manipulating the field of the study and the design of the study, this study result supports Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s research that all types of interpretation errors also occur in real situation legal interpretation. The difference of error frequency is possibly cause by the different field of the study. Medical and legal interpretation provide different characteristics, situation and context, so the different frequency is tolerated.

The manipulation in study design results in a deeper analysis on communication among interlocutors and interpreter. Many uncovered findings in Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s research are revealed in this real situation research. They are the interpreter’s tendency to provide information concerning actual situation and context transition, the consequences of interpretation errors toward the communication, and interpreter’s revising tendency upon bad structured sentence. These findings prove that eventhough simulation scenario research may be appropriate for collecting data concerning non-daily case like medical or legal interpretation, however data collected from real situation interpretation provides wider coverage and deeper analysis.

By having similar result to Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s findings, this study supports their suggestion that interpretation training programmes should be developed as an effort to minimize interpretation errors not only in medical or legal field, but also other fields that needs interpreter’s involvement such as tourism, finance, politics, and else.


Combining this study and Anzawa et al.’s study

This study shows that as a pilot project, Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchy study has been a good beginning for future works in the interpretation study. Some issues about generalization of the study and narrow coverage of the study appear in that simulation study. However, as suggested by the writers in conclusion and future work chapter, these issues are answered in this real situation legal interpretation.

This study reveals that Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi’s five types errors are generalisable for other field of study. Furthermore, the data taken from real situation interpretation gives more chance to analyze communication during interpretation deeply, as expected by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi.

The difference on errors frequency does not negate the findings of Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi because this research is designed to examine the employability of five type errors in the analysis of other fields of interpretation, not to test the frequency of errors.

Interpretation training programs, as suggested by Anazawa, Ishikawa and Kiuchi, are really needed to be developed because the five types of interpretation errors possibly happen in all fields of interpretation, as they occur in medical and legal interpretation. Minimizing the potency of these errors through interpretation training programs hopefully may increase the standard of interpretation for guaranteeing more faithful communication between interlocutors. And this study, as well as Anaza et al.’s study, may be regarded as important research in interpretation to provide suggestion for curriculum of interpreting education (see Pochhacker, 2010).

Many follow up researches are still needed to examine the employability of five types interpretation errors in other field of interpretation. It also recommends the application of simulation scenario research to solve problems in data collection because it may accurately predict the study result, as well as the real situation research, but in narrow coverage.



Anazawa, R., Ishikawa, H., & Kiuchi, T. (2012). The accuracy of medical interpretations: A pilot study of errors in Japanese-English interpreters during a simulated medical scenario. The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research Vol.4, No.1. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from /transint/article/view/159

Bancroft, M. A., Bendana, L. Bruggeman, J., Feuerle, L. (2013). Interpreting in the gray zone: Where community and legal interpreting intersect. The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research Vol.5, No.1. Rerieved April 1, 2014, from

Fischman, Y. (2008). Secondary trauma in the legal profession, a clinical perspective. Torture Volume 18. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from /doc/tort2008.2.6.pdf

Gercek, E. (2008). Cultural mediator or scrupuloustranslator?revisiting role, context and culture in consecutive conference interpreting. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from

Keselman, O., Cederborg, A. C., Linell, P. (2010). “That is not necessary for you to know!” Negotiation of participation status of unaccompanied children in interpreter-mediated asylum hearings. Interpreting 12:1. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from

Kleijnen, J. P. C. (1993). Verification and validation of simulation models. European Journal of Operational Research 82. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from ~gmadey/sim06/Classnotes/Validation/kleijnen5.pdf

Napier, J. (2007). Cooperation in interpreter-mediated monologic talk. Abstract. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from

Pochhacker, F. (2010). The role of researcher in interpreter education. The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research Vol.2, No.1. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from

Ra, S. & Napier, J. (2013). Community interpreting: Asian language interpreters’ perspective. The International Journal for Translation and Interpreting Research Vol.5, No.2. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from /view /199

Wieringen, J., Harmsen, J., & Bruijnzeels, M.A. (2002). Intercultural communication in general practice. Abstract. Retrieved April 2, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.


Lusia Eni Puspandari

Surabaya Shipbuilding Institute of Polytechnic


Abstract This paper is directed to find out an alternative way for students of Elementary School in understanding motion prepositions. The result of this study is in form of courseware which is directed to overcome learners’ difficulties in understanding and using motion prepositions. This study is used as an adjunct to English learning processes and this courseware can be accessed every time in indefinite pace as self-learning media based on the learners’ own ability.

In developing attractive learning media, the concept of independent learning and instructional animation are the basis of the study. It is supported by some components namely: attention-gaining material, pretest/posttest, instructional objectives, tutorial, content, exercises, and feedback.

The result of the try out shows that most of the students become more understand the uses and the differences of the motion prepositions in sentences.


Key words: Motion Prepositions, E-Learning Animated Media, Attention-gaining material, Instructional Objectives, Courseware



In some developing countries, English is considered as second language or as foreign language. It is the principal language chosen for international business and for communication between countries all over the world. English is also used in all sides of human activities in that country, from science, education, entertainment, politics and others. All sides of human life are related to English as the International Language.

Indonesia, as one of developing country, considered English as a language that should be known by all people in the early ages. Previously, English was originally first taught in high schools, and it has been taught in primary or even pre-primary schools in the last decade. In addition, parents have introduced English to their children in their early ages by given them simple instruction or simple vocabulary. Some of them also send their children to language institutions to learn English at an age earlier then ever before. It is supported by Indonesia’s Minister of Education in his statement that English is intended to provide students an opportunity to gain science and at the same time develop their knowledge of English in anticipation of the environmental condition which has been influenced by the development of science, technology, arts, and cultures such that the knowledge of English is a demand.

The fact that English has been taught to the earlier ages created the English teachers to be more creative. A great deal of effort has been trying to make English teaching and learning interesting, especially for children. So many books are written in attractive way in order to attract learners’ motivation and attention to learn English. Firstly, the existence of children English books has accommodated the learners’ need of English but together with the advance of technology, they can not accomplish the learners’ needs. The role of teachers in creating good environment to learn English, and the teachers’ creativity become the most important thing for children in learning English.

Beside the creativity and the attractive books used in English learning, the used of technology is also has an important role in achieving successful English learning. Computer as a means of Information Technology development has proven that it holds a significant role in teaching learning process, especially in language learning.. Many language institutions and schools use computers as a supporting means in language teaching and in learning process. It is supported by the fact that computer can be used as a medium of real communication in the target language, including composing and exchanging messages with other students in the classroom or around the world (Oxford, 1990, p.79). The abundant research, studies, and class experiments in the use of information technology in language learning reported that technology brought more advantages and development than disadvantages.

The technology that has been used mostly by educators and trainers is internet which is created on the concept of web. Using internet as learning resources has some advantages such as: (1) it can be accessed by many people in the same time in unlimited time; (2) it can be used as distance learning which is used individually based on their own level or capability, and (3) it can be responded via e-mail to the trainers or educators. Beside the advantages, there are some disadvantages of using internet as learning resources, such as it must be connected to the internet which means that it can not be used on stand-alone computer.

Considering that using internet can not be used for stand-alone computer, there are many educators and trainers who have created and designed learning materials in the form of software which can be accessed by all computers without connecting to internet to be used as an alternative media. This kind of software is preferred by learners and is even more popular among students because they are associated with fun and games or because they are considered to be fashionable. The learners’ motivation therefore increases, especially whenever a variety of activities are offered, which make them feel more independent.

The existing learning software is to improve the conventional methods in language learning which primarily depend on the presence of teachers in the classroom to convey the material. The teaching learning process which relies on books often causes students’ lack of interest as well, especially when there is no instructional objectives provided in the book and it easily generates students’ boredom in learning language. Besides, the use of books for teaching learning have some weaknesses such as there are no varieties tests provided to measure the students’ achievement in learning, and the feedback given by the book is very limited or not given at all. The most apprehensive thing in conveying conventional teaching learning method is that it must be held in a classroom setting.

The electronic learning material that is effectively designed will facilitate the achievement of desired learning outcomes (Pramono, 1996:124). In addition, learning using computer will equip learners with a skill to choose the desired topic, based on their level of ability and will improve the learners’ motivation in learning. It is emphasized by Kweldju (1995:37) who argued that computer has self-access procedure which is completed with eye-catching color and animation to increase the users’ attractiveness.

Realizing that the numbers of electronic learning software are so many, the teachers and educators must be more selective in choosing the most suitable e-learning materials because not all the software are carefully designed and are provided with adequate feedback. Feedback in the software becomes the most important thing because without feedback, a learner is left to perform with no sense of direction or measure of correctness. (Cates, 1988:115).

In order to create ideal learning software, some aspects should be considered, such as: (1) the software must be designed to support the available curriculum, (2) the software must contain the learning objectives, (3) the software must use multimedia animation, (4) the product software must be analyzed and must be tested by the experts of subject material, learning technology and computer graphic.

Those statements inspired the writer as an English teacher to develop an innovative and attractive electronic learning media as a means to convey a material in computer based learning with the aim to provide an interactive instruction in a specific area which is delivered on a CD-ROM by using Macromedia Flash. It is expected that by using the interactive media, the learners’ imagination and understanding will be facilitated in learning a certain material.

She believes that using computers in education through Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) is more effective than using Internet based technologies. CAL is run either straight from a CD or flash disk or over local network so the constraint of the internet –slow download times for multimedia materials may not apply. It means that it has the potential to offer more advanced, interactive, multimedia learning experiences than it is currently reasonable to expect from the Web.

Based on the reality that learning is a systematic process with some components which influence each other in achieving learner’s successful learning, the writer recognized that in a learning process there must be an interaction between learner and the learning resources to achieve the ideal learning objectives. The writer believed that using interactive electronic media in the form of computer in learning language will create more advantages in learning process as stated by Harmanto (2002) that Learning using computers can be accessed by anyone in anytime and it can be applied individually based on their own ability (Harmanto, 2002).

As an English teacher which has been teaching English both for adult and for young learners for ages, she has so many experiences in dealing with students. Using an interactive and attractive ways in teaching English can reduce learner’s bored in learning for the first time, but if it is not combined with the use of technology it will be disastrous, especially in teaching motion prepositions which need real movement of object.

It is supported by Tomasello who said that learning to use prepositions is fundamentally important in young learners’ grammatical development (Tomasello, 1987). It is also supported by the reality that the students’ mistakes in understanding preposition in YPPI I Elementary school are often happened, especially in motion preposition even though it has been aided by pictures.

The above reasons generate the writer to be more creative in finding out interactive material to assist learners in understanding preposition, especially motion preposition. It is caused by her experience when she taught prepositions to young learners using a picture on white board, and it doesn’t help them to be comprehensible with the meaning of those prepositions.

Knowing about the difficulties, the writer anxious to create an attractive learning media using computer to learn English prepositions. . It is also supported by Pramono’s research (2004,p.3) which is said that the visual representations are intrinsically effective in supporting language learning.. Those reasons accentuated the writer to create and develop the interactive media in a form of CD-ROM.

The decision in developing materials in the form of CD-ROM has been made based upon some considerations as follows:

a. The development must have many advantages for learners such as it must help them to learn the subject matter (motion prepositions) easier, so that they will not get confused in understanding the meaning of and using motion prepositions in sentences. Ultimately, it must support learners to be more independent learners.

b. The development of materials for motion preposition needs to be done in order to facilitate English learners who find difficulties in grasping the meaning and function of motion prepositions.

c. The development media of using computer in understanding motion prepositions are extremely suitable by using animated visualization as stated by Galton that the most appropriate illustrative scenarios to present to subjects in an experimental investigation of motion preposition would be animated sequences. (Galton, 2002)

The above considerations underline the reasons of using animation in learning motion preposition, which is clarified as follows:

  1. Animation has “translation” characteristics that involves “the movement of whole entities from one location to another and can be perceived with respect to the border of the animation or other material within the animated display”. (Lowe, 2002, p.3)
  2. Understanding concepts using animation was significantly improved if verbal explanation ran concurrently with the animation.
  3. Animations have the potential to be especially beneficial for instruction presenting dynamic contents because animated pictures can show information about two important visual attributes: motion and trajectory (Pramono, 2005,p.22)
  4. Animated illustrations seem to be superior for the visualization of spatial aspect and dynamic process in preposition learning because a preposition usually indicates the spatial and temporal relationships of its object to the rest of the sentence.


Literature Review

There are some theories which support the study of developing e-learning media to facilitate learners in learning motion preposition, such as: Computer-Based Learning, Designing E-Learning Software, Characteristic of E-Learning Software, Using Animation in Learning Motion Preposition.

Computer- Based Learning

According to Hick and Hyde a teaching process directly involving a computer in the presentation of instructional materials in an attractive mode to provide and control the individualized learning environment for each individual student (Joiner, 1982:29)

It is stated that in learning using computer students interact with computer directly. The interaction between students and computers are in individual setting, based on their own language capacity and ability, so that the computer usage in language learning can be arranged by the students itself.

Based on the above reasons, the interactive method of teaching learning process in class cannot be done maximally. As the consequence, computer is designed to overcome those problems by creating some interactive programs inorder to attract students’ attention to increase their motivation in learning. It is hoped that using computer as an alternative teaching and learning media will increase students’ motivation because it is designed attractively by involving students’ or learners in the program so that there is an extensive interaction between computer and students.

The Advantages of Computer Based Learning/Teaching

The advantages of the use of computers in lecture theatres are caused by a few factors. The most important one is that simple large problems can be solved in a straightforward way in front of students’ eyes.(Miller, 98). Some advantages of using computer in learning are:

  1. Computers are able to give information about mistakes and the total time of learning spent by learners to do the exercises.
  2. Learning by using computer train students to be skilful tochoose the material they want to learn.
  3. Learning by using computer will help students who find difficulties in class meeting to review the material again individually.
  4. By using computer, the weak students who cannot follow the material and shy to ask the teacher will have a chance to repeat the material by themselves as many as they want.
  5. Computer Based Learning supports the individual learning which is suggested in modern education (Tsai and Pohl, 1981).
  6. Computer-based learning enable students to be accustomed with computer which is become important thing in this era and it will support many contributions for training and carrier in the future (Dhaif, 1989:13)
  7. The research shows that computer is an effective learning media (Kearsey, 1976 as quoted by Thompson, 1980:40).


The Form of Computer-Based Learning

According to Kemp and Dayton (1985:246) there are five forms of learning using computer: tutorials, drill and practice, problem solving, simulations, and games. Tutorial learning is a process of conveying new information to students in forms of explanation, exercises, and branching. Drill and practice is given to measure the students’ ability to understand certain knowledge. Problem solving is a process to give a solution about certain problem happened in teaching learning process. Games is one teaching forms which is given in order to increase students motivation and competition to learn something in a fun way.

Interaction between computer and learner is an individual interaction (Pramono, 1996). A teaching process is directly involving a computer in the presentation of instructional materials in an interactive mode to provide and control the individualized learning environment for each individual student.


Characteristics of Computer-Based Software Product

In order to improve the learning quality, Computer-Based Software must be designed through good learning principle. Besides, the designed of computer-based learning software must enclose the characteristics programmed instruction. The main characteristics of programmed instruction according to Burke (1982:23) are: (1) small steps, (2) active responding, and (3) immediate feedback.


Benefits of Animation in Learning Motion Preposition

The number of English prepositions often causes difficulties for learners to distinguish the kinds and the meaning of preposition, especially if the preposition is related to motion preposition, because there is only few lines to distinguish them.

Animation is one of media which is able to convey a vast amount of information in a very short period of time, and can be a powerful method of reinforcing concepts and topics first introduced to students through text, discussion, or other media. Though still in its fledgling stage, animation holds the promise of allowing visual learners and those with special needs new and powerful ways to comprehend complex phenomena.

The design of animations involves manipulation of various dynamic characteristics. Animation has “translation” characteristics that involves “the movement of whole entities from one location to another and within the animated display (Pramono: 2004: 21).


Types and Usage of Prepositions

Prepositions denote spatial relations, which are principally used to predicate constraints on such attributes as location, orientation, and disposition. (Hersekovits, 1997: 160). Preposition expressing spatial relations are of two kinds: prepositions of location, which is called prepositions of place (static) and prepositions of direction, sometimes called motion prepositions (Purdue University, 2002).

According to Linstromberg a preposition expresses a relationship between a subject and a landmark. Landmarks and Subjects are often (but not always) nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns.(Linstromberg: 1997: 15).

Preposition of direction are dynamic and have a directional meaning, such as to, from, up, down, through, towards, and appear with verbs of motion (movement) such as roll, walk, swim, come, go, etc.        Every motion preposition fits in a syntactic frame:

NP [activity verb] Preposition NP

as with      The ball      rolled across    the street

                   Figure                                     Ground

                  Moving Object                      Reference Object

Here the Figure is the moving object; the Ground is still the referent of the object of the preposition; the preposition constrains the trajectory; or path of the Figure.(Herskovits, 1997:162)


Expected Product specification

The CD-ROM that will be produced in this study is the actualization of Computer Assisted Learning product. It has some specifications as follows:

–            It can be used to convey a new material but it is as an alternative media because the major media is still based on books.

–            It can be used as an individualised learning media because:

–            It can be accessed in unlimited time and space without depending on the Internet facility.

–            It is the realisation of self-learning material which has instructional objectives in it.

–            There are a summary and exercises which are completed with the feedback.

–            It gives a chance to learners to study the material freely based on their own capacity.

–            The material has specific components which can assist learners to learn easily, as follows


Benefits of Software Development

Developing this e-learning media is directed to overcome learners’ confusion and learners’ mistake in understanding motion preposition. This study belongs to developing domain, especially in developing learning resources in order to enrich the learning media in computer based technology.

This study is also intended to improve English learning process which relies on the book with the presence of a teacher in the classroom to the computer based technology which can be accessed every time in indefinite space based on their own capability as self-learning media.


Assumption and Development Limitation

Developing e-learning media to help students in understanding motion preposition is based on the related assumption, as follows:

–     An attractive learning resources will arouse students’ learning motivation

–     Developing animated media is required to develop the education quality

–     This development study is intended to design a self-learning media through CD-ROM

–     A learning process using CD-ROM is properly used for computer literacy students



Computer-Based Learning Software Development

Developing media in teaching learning technology is the implementation of a design which has been made. It cannot be separated from designing, managing, and evaluating as said by Seels & Richey (1994:9) that instructional teaching is a theory and practice of design, development, utilization, management and evaluation processes and resources for learning.

In order to create interactive and innovative learning software, there must be designing and developing procedures that must be passed obviously. The procedures that must be overtaken to assist the writer in developing qualified e-learning material software are known as ADDIE or Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation (Sambel, Developing and Evaluating E-learning, 2005).



The first step is analyzing the learners’ characteristic which are going to use the e-learning material. The learners’ characteristics that should be identified are the level of learners, whether the program is used in class or not, and whether the program is used as individual learning or not. Then, it is continued by designing and organizing the learning software.



Determine the design of the software

There are three kinds of design to be used according to Burke (1982), functional design, physical design, and logical design. Functional design is related to the function of the software as media to introduce new material and to convey it in order to strengthen learning motivation. Physical design is related to the type of the design, which is divided into linear, branch and repetition. Logical design covers the mode of the design, which is divided into deductive (rules and followed by examples) and inductive mode (examples and followed by rules).

As a developer, the writer must choose one of those design mode in order to be applied in the software development.

Developing Flowchart

Flowchart is used to communicate the ideas of the developer and the graphic designer. It is used to describe the main parts of the software and to arrange the steps of designing the courseware. See the flowchart in Appendix 1.

Writing Storyboard

Storyboard is a media which is used by developer and graphic designer to communicate about the form of material and the activity that will be appeared in the software.


Learning Media Development

Developing learning media in the form of software is the realisation of learning technology application especially for developing learning resources. It is expected to reduce the obstacles of limitation in finding learning resources. See Appendix 2.


Try-out and Evaluation

The next step which must be done is doing the trial test or user acceptance test which will evaluate the e-learning media. The material must be tested in order to verify the validity of the material. The processes of verifying the validity are through trial test which is done by group of students to represent some students to use the software development. The result of the trial test will be evaluated. The steps of evaluating learning software can be seen in Appendix 3.

After the media is created, the next step is try-out and evaluation. The tryout and evaluation is needed in order to measure whether the product can achieve the set specification, i.e.

–  It can be used to convey a new material but it is as an alternative media because the major media is still based on books.

–  It can be used as an individualized learning media because:

–  It can be accessed in unlimited time and space without depending on the Internet facility.

–  It is the realization of self-learning material which has instructional objectives in it.

–  There are a summary and exercises which are completed with the feedback.

–  It gives a chance to learners to study the material freely based on their own capacity.

–  The material has specific components which can assist learners to learn easily, as follows.

The result of try out shows the following:

(1) Attention Gaining Material could gather an average score of 100 %. The result showed that the component of attention-gaining material could attract the students’ attention at the start and could motivate them to learn.

(2) The Instructional Objectives of this courseware could gather an average score of 88.9 %; that means the students under­stood the objectives of learning using this developed courseware.

(3)  The clarity of doing the pretest and the understanding of the students on pre-test items and the appropriateness of animation with the items got an average score of 70.4 %. It can be concluded that the pre test components were good.

(4) The clarity of the tutorial and the attractive­ness of the explanation could get an average score of 100%.  It can be concluded that the tutorial component of this product was very good.

(5) The content with respect to the com­prehensibility of the material, the appro­priateness of the animation with the story, and the attractiveness of the animated pictures got an average score of  88.9 %, therefore, it can be considered that the content of this developed product was good.

(6) The exercises of this product got an average score of 74.1 % with respect to the   attractiveness of the items, the quality of the animations used, and the appropriateness of the items.

(7) The average score of the feedback is  88.9% with respect to the effectiveness and appropriateness of the feedback.

(8) The practicality to operate this courseware, the benefits of using this courseware, and the possibility to use this courseware without the help of teachers got an average score of 88.9%. It can be concluded that this courseware development can be used as an individual learning to enrich the learners’ competence on motion prepositions.

Based on the data above, it can be concluded that this courseware develop­ment obtains good response from learners and has good quality as an alternative learning resource. The main interface can be seen in Appendix 4.


Armstrong, K.M. & Yetter-Vassot, C. (1994). Transforming teaching through technology. Foreign Language Annals, 27(4), 475-486.

Brown, Andrew R.(2005) Elements of Effective e-Learning Design

Burke, R.L. 1992, Computer Assisted Instruction. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc

Cates, J.S. 1988. Delay Feedback and Cognitive Task Level in Practice Exercises. A paper Presented at the 1988 Annual Convention of the Association for Educational Communication and Technologies, New Orleans. L.A., USA

Dick, W and Carey, L. 1985. The systematic Design of Instruction (2nd edition) London: Scott, Foresman and company

Galton, Antony. 2002.

Hersekovits, A. 1997. Language, spatial cognition, and vision. In O. Stock (Ed), Spatial and Temporal Reasoning, 155-202

International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Retrieved from

Kemp, J.E. and Dayton, D.K. 1985. Planning and Producing Instructional Media. Cambridge: Harper & Row, Publisher,

Kurtus, Ron. 2004. What is eLearning?

Kweldju, S. 1985. SMA Teachers’ Performance in Using English as Medium of S-1 Graduates of IKIP Malang in Kodya Malang. Thesis PPS IKIP MALANG: Unpublished

Lindstromberg, Seth. 1998, English Prepositions Explained, Philadelphia: John Benjamins North America

Littlewood,W.1997. Autonomy and independence in language learning. Harlow: Addison Wesley Longman 79-91.

Lowe, R.K. 1999. Extracting Information from an Animation during Complex Visual Learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 14, 225 – 244

Miller, Karol. 1998. Computer-based teaching but pen-and-pencil examination? Retrievedfrom

Pramono, Harto. 2004. Picture-Text Complementarily in English Language Learning by Primary School Students in Indonesia, Thesis Curtin University of Technology.

Purdue University, 2002. Preposition of Direction: To, On(to), In (to).

Rieber, L.P. 1996. Animation as feedback in a computer-based simulation: The Representation matters. Educational Technology Research and Development, 5-22

Salaberry, R. (1999). ‘CALL in the year 2000: still developing the research agenda’. Language Learning and Technology 3/1: 104-107.

Sambel, Sandra. 2005. Developing and Evaluating E-learning, 2005.

Seels, B.B. and Richey, R.C. 1994. Instructional Technology: The definition and Domains of the field. Washington, DC: Association for educational Communication and Technology

Stock, Oliviero, 1997, Spatial and Temporal Reasoning, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers

Swan, Michael. 2001. The Good Grammar Book, OxfordUniversity Press

Tomasello, M. 1987, (PR.9) Learning to use prepositions: a case study. Journal of Child Language, 14, 79-96


 Appendix 1

Flow chart used in the development stage



 Steps of Media Development




Appendix 3

Product Evaluation Steps



Appendix 4

The Main Interfaces


Pre-Test screenshot


Reading menu screenshot




 Speaking Menu Screenshot

Luci 4



Exercise Menu Screenshot





by: Zubaidi, State Polytechnic of Malang




The objective of this research was to study the communication strategies (CS) used by a non-English lecturer teaching her subject in English. The study was to investigate the types and frequency of CS used by the lecturer and the students’ perception of the use of communication strategies by their lecturer. Data was collected from classroom observations and a questionnaire. Tarone’s (1980) taxonomy of CS was used in this descriptive-qualitative analysis. The results showed that the lecturer used language switch, literal translation, appeal-for-assistance, circumlocution, approximation and message abandonment strategies. Fillers and pauses were also used during her teaching. The students perceived that the use of CS by the lecturer helped them understand the subject better. The strategies that help them to comprehend the lecturer’s explanation better were language switch, literal translation and circumlocution strategy. The students perceived that the use of Indonesian could make understanding easier because their English was still not good.


Keywords: communication strategies, bilingual class, non-English lecturer


Bilingual education is an educational program which involves the use of two languages of instruction at some point in the schooling process (Brisk, 2006; González, 2008). This program involves the first language (L1) and one second or foreign language (L2) which is the target language of acquisition as the medium of instruction(Baker, 2001). In terms of the use of the two languages in the classroom, a bilingual program is determined by the aims of the program. The bilingual instruction in the Indonesian education environment is commonly intended to improve the quality of the human resources, especially their English proficiency.

In this circumstance, bilingual classes need proficient teachers who can teach the subject matter in English well even though they can use their native language to explain a certain concept when it is difficult to do so in English. Nevertheless, the bigger proportion of use of English language is preferable. However, in a bilingual (or even multilingual) situation like in Indonesia, the mastery of both English and Indonesian can be imbalanced. This imbalance may be caused by the teacher’s less proficiency of one language and may result in problems in explaining a concept. To solve the problems the teachers will apply several different CS in order they can elucidate their linguistic difficulty (Auer, 1999; Bolander, 2008).

The study is intended to know what different CSs are used by a non-English lecturer in a bilingual class in the Business Administration Department of State Polytechnic of Malang. It includes the types and frequency of CS and the students’ perception of the use of CS by the lecturer.

The concept of CS was first introduced by Selinker (1972) in his paper called “Interlanguage” where these strategies are one of the five central processes involved in second language learning. These strategies were then studied by some researchers, such as Tarone (1980), Faerch & Kasper (1983), Corder (1981), and others. Tarone (1980:419) defines a communication strategy “as a mutual attempt of two interlocutors to agree on a meaning in situation where requisite meaning structures are not shared.” In this definition CSs are used when there is an interaction between the interlocutors who are negotiating the meaning.

Faerch& Kasper (1983:81)define CS as ‘potentially conscious plans for solving what to an individual presents itself as a problem in reaching a particular communicative goal’. Faerch and Kasper look CS as a result of conscious planning which may occur to solve potential communicative problems and to produce communication smoothness and fluency.

Corder (1981:103) defines the communicative strategies of second language learners “as a systematic technique employed by a speaker to express his meaning when faced with some difficulty.” In his definition Corder focuses the use of CS to solve the problems in the communication.

Tarone (1980) suggests taxonomy of CS from the social interactional perspective. This perspective is based on the notion that communication happens in an interaction between the language learners and their interlocutors and that both parties negotiate the meaning. She lists nine strategies which she groups into five categories, as follows:

(1)  Paraphrase:

  1. Approximation
  2. Word Coinage
  3. Circumlocution

(2)  Borrowing:

  1. Literal Translation
  2. Language Switch

(3)  Appeal for Assistance

(4)  Mime

(5)  Avoidance:

  1. Topic Avoidance
  2. Message Abandonment

The second important communication strategy taxonomy is suggested by Faerch and Kasper (1983). Their classification of the CS is based on the notion that CSs are actually a cognitive process of the speaker with a focus on comprehension and production. Therefore, they suggest different taxonomy of CS. Some of their strategies are the same as suggested by Tarone, yet they propose more strategies and different categories. The following are Faerch & Kasper’s (1983) taxonomy of CS.

Another set of taxonomy is suggested by Bialystok (1990) who groups two principal classes of CS in the process-oriented approach: analysis-based and control-based strategies. This classification is based on a framework of language processing. The analysis-based strategies include circumlocution, paraphrase, transliteration, word coinage, and mime, while the control-based strategies include language switch, ostensive definition, appeal for help, and mime. She states that the analysis-based strategies involve “an attempt to convey the structure of the intended concept by making explicit the relational defining features.” The control-based strategies involve “choosing a representational system that is possible to convey and that makes explicit information relevant to the identity of the intended concept” (Bialystok, 1990:134).

This study uses Tarone’s taxonomy of CS because it is developed on the basis of interactional perspective and consists of clear classifications. Tarone’s taxonomy involves the context where communication happens. It pays attention to the understanding of the interlocutor towards the meaning which is trying to get across. In this sense, the choice of the strategy depends more or less on the listener’s understanding. When the listener seems still confused or does not understand the meaning, the speaker will probably use another strategy. In addition, it is often used as the bases for the investigation in many pieces of research studying CS in different situations, such as in Hung (2012), Yang & Gai (2010), Kongsom (2009), Zhang(2007).




This is a descriptive qualitativestudy of the CS which are used by a non-English lecturer in a bilingual class at the Business Administration Department of State Polytechnic of Malang. One lecturer of the department was picked purposively as the subject of the study and was observed of her use of CS in three classroom meetings in a bilingual class. The study is to discover the types and frequency of CS used by the lecturer, and the students’ perception towards the use of CS by the lecturer in the classroom

Several types of data were collected in the study. The first data was video-recorded verbal classroom communication between the non-English lecturer and the students taken from three different meetings of the same bilingual class. The verbal classroom communication was then transcribed to identify the CS used by the lecturer and the frequency of their use. The transcription was done carefully to include any pauses and their duration, repetition of certain utterances, intonation and other aspects of conversation analysis and discourse analysis as described by Wooffitt (2005). The second type of data was the students’ perception towards the use of CS by the lecturer in her or his teachingobtained from a questionnaire given to the students.




The Communication Strategies Used by the Lecturer


The communication strategies of Tarone’s (1980) taxonomy used by the lecturer were language switch, literal translation, appeal for assistance, approximation, circumlocution and message abandonment. Fillers and pauses were also used by the lecturer.

The type and frequency of the use of CS are summarized in the following table.


Table 1.   Type and frequency of communication strategies used by the lecturer


Communication Strategy %
Language switch 274 52.49
Literal translation 139 26.63
Circumlocution 12 2.30
Approximation 36 6.90
Appeal for assistance 8 1.53
Message abandonment 14 2.68
Fillers 21 4.02
Pauses 18 3.45
Total 522 100


Language Switch Strategy

It was found that the lecturer used the language switch strategy in two different ways. They were code mixing and code switching. She used these strategies alternatively for different reasons and purposes.

Language switch strategy was used the most often (52.49%) by the lecturer. The lecturer believed that it was the easiest way to solve the difficulty with the second language. She felt that when she did not know the proper expressions in English, using the mother tongue was the best way. Her statement proved that the definition of communication strategy mentioned by some scholars in part is true; for example, the definitions by Tarone (1980), Corder (1981), and Faerch & Kasper (1983) which relate the use of communication strategy to an attempt to solve the speaker’s problem in communicating his message to his/her listener.

The language switch strategy is commonly used in a bilingual context where two languages are shared proportionally by the interlocutors. This strategy is often used by speakers with lower degree of L2 proficiencyor by those who speak with lower speakers, as studied by Sinha (2009) in an Indian classroom situation and by Takehara (2000) in a Japanese classroom situation.

The language switch in this study, however, was used by the lecturer for two reasons: to make the subject understandable to the students, and to avoid misunderstanding due to misuse of English expressions.

The finding of this study is similar to that of another study by Suharyadi (2010). His findings showed many uses of language switch by the teacher of mathematics, chemistry and biology. These three teachers stated that the use of language switch was for emergency situations where the teachers did not know the English expressions and for students’ comprehension on the topic being discussed in the classroom.

The findings of a piece of research by Ghout-Khenoune (2006), however, do not support the finding of this study. In her dissertation for the degree of Magister in Linguistics at University of Algiers, she investigates a group of EFL learners who are given different tasks with different level of difficulty: description tasks and discussion tasks. She finds that the learners do not use different CS in solving their problem in completing the tasks. They use the same CS in the two sets of tasks: repetition, restructuring, message abandonment and appeal for assistance. It is inferred from the research that the different levels of difficulty of the tasks do not affect the types of CS the learners use in solving their communication problems.

The different findings of Ghout-Khenoune’s (2006) study and this study do not mean that they contradict each other. Different subjects and objects of communication, classroom interactions, and topics cause different use of CS. Blom and Gumperz (1972 in Nilep, 2006:7) call these three factors as participants, setting and topic. These factors, as they mention, “restrict the selection of linguistic variables in a manner that is somewhat analogous to syntactic or semantic restriction.”

They further explain that in certain social situations, some linguistic forms or utterances may be more appropriate than others. Take for an example, the types of utterances or communication used by a group of mechanics in a workshop are different from the variety of language used by teachers presenting text material in the public school. It can be inferred, therefore, that different social events may result in different language forms even with the same participants in the same setting when the topic shifts.

In the current study the lecturer used language switch strategy together with literal translation strategy to make sure that her students understood the topic she was explaining. It was the students’ understanding to the topic which became the lecturer’s concern. Both strategies were used alternatively along the course of the teaching. Under the observation the lecturer did not seem to show any linguistic problems in explaining the topic. This fact was confirmed by the lecturer’s statement in the interview.


Literal Translation Strategy

Literal translation strategy was used by the lecturer as many as 139 times (26.63%) to make sure that the concepts and her explanation could be understood by the students. The lecturer felt that the students’ understanding was more important than the use of English. This was because the concepts of accounting were rather difficult to the students, let alone that the students might not have much background knowledge about accounting.

The use of language switch strategy and literal translation strategy was intended in one part to make the message comprehensible by the students. It was the students’ understanding which counted more than just the use of the second language or English. The lecturer in this situation did not always have the lexical problem as mentioned in some definitions by language experts, such as Tarone (1980), Faerch & Kasper (1983) and others. They state that CSs are used when the speaker has difficulties in the language. The lecturer in the study deliberately used the first language to make her message understood by her students.

The use of the first language in the language switch strategy and literal translation strategy in that situation was similar to the summary made by Begovic (2011). Her study is conducted with four Swedish L2 learners of upper secondary school who share the same first language. She summarizes that code switching is used to bring an effect to an utterance, and not because of lacking knowledge in their L2. From these findings it can be inferred that the use of certain CS is not always caused by the lack of lexical knowledge of the second language.

In the students’ point of view in this study, the use of CS which involved the first language was also preferred. When asked to rank the effectiveness of the nine communication categories, the students put literal translation strategy and language switch in the first and second ranks respectively. It showed that the use of Indonesian was still important for the communication to be able to convey the message. This fact might indicate that because the students were not proficient in English, the use of Indonesian was for understanding.

This finding is similar to what is found by Ting & Phan (2008) who mention that the less-proficient speakers of English in their study tend to choose the strategies which involve the first language, while more-proficient speakers tend to prefer the strategies which are more L2 oriented. The L1-oriented strategies in their study are literal translation and language switch strategies. The less-proficient speakers use the literal translation strategy 5 times out of 142 strategies used or 4%, while the language switch strategy is employed 25 times or 18%.

Another piece of research by Yang & Gai (2010) also supports the present study, where they find that most students under study use strategies which involve the use of first language. In their study, the students use the language switch more often than the other strategies. Reduction strategies, which can be topic avoidance or message abandonment, are also preferred by the students when they have problems in expressing their message. They use these to be able to overcome nervousness and stress, reducing errors to reach the goal of communication.

For the present study, the lecturer used the language switch and literal translation because either that the lecturer wanted to make sure that her message was comprehensible to the students or that she was not sure how to express her message in English correctly due to her lack of vocabulary. When she was asked why she did not use other strategies, she said that using Indonesian was more effective and easy to do. In addition, she was concerned more to make the students understand the important concepts of her subject than to use English which was difficult to understand.


Circumlocution Strategy

The circumlacution strategy was used by the lecturer as many as 12 times. This strategy is one used to exemplify, illustrate or describe a concept or object (Dornyei& Scott,1995: 188). The lecturer used this strategy when she came across a new concept that she thought the students deserve an explanation.

Several studies on CS, such as by Malasit & Sarobol (2013), Hung (2012) and Suharyadi (2010), mention that circumlocution strategy is used to paraphrase a certain concept which may be difficult to understand or one which the speaker does not know the word or phrase in the target language.

Approximation Strategy

The approximation strategy is one to refer to the use of a single target language (L2) word or structure which shares the semantic features of the target word or structure (Dorneyi & Scott, 1997). The lecturer under study used this strategy 36 times accounting for 6.90 percent of all strategies identified during the classroom commnication.

In several ocassions the lecturer in the study used the strategy when she did not know the term in English. For instance, when she talked about the concept of ‘transporting,’ due to her being not sure with the target word she used ‘transporter’ or ‘transformer.’


Appeal for Assistance Strategy

The appeal for assistance strategy is used when the speaker seeks help, either directly or indirectly, from his/her interlocutor for solving his/her linguistic problems. The use of this strategy is reported in many recent studies concerning communication in the context of second language learning, for example Hung, (2012), Binhayeearong (2009), Chen (2009), and Ghout-Khenoune (2006). In these studies the appeal for assistance strategy is used because the speakers do not know the intended word or words, either asked implicitly or explicitly.

The use of appeal for assistance strategy by the lecturer in this study was found eigth times during the teaching-learning process in the classroom, which indicated that the lecturer had difficulty in using English in the classroom by asking the students for certain target words or phrases. For example, when she asked about a special term which was related to the topic being discussed, ‘barang jadi,’ she asked the students.

In astudy by Suharyadi (2010) three teachers who are observed to investigate the use of CS in the classroom does not find any use of appeal for assistance. Three teachers of mathematics, chemistry, and biology use the strategies of code switching and code mixing, repetition, paraphrasing–approximation, direct translation and circumlocution. Even though his study has similar classroom situation to this study, the types of strategies used by the teachers are different. There seems to be factors that influence the use of CS; and there have been several studies which investigate these factors.

Guhlemann (2011:20), for example, finds that there is a significant correlation between personality & motivation and the use of CS. He investigates students with low anxiety and high anxiety also those students who are low motivated and high motivated. The results show that the students who have low anxiety and high motivation tend to use circumlocution (score: 4.29), approximation (score: 4.21), and use of all-purpose words (score:3.93). Meanwhile, the students with high anxiety and low motivation tend to use avoidance (score: 1.93), code switching (score: 2.5), and foreignerization, as well as topic avoidance (score: 2.86).

In another study of factors affecting the use of CS, Huang (2010) finds that the students’ oral proficiency, the frequency of speaking in English and the motivation in speaking English are significant factors influencing the use of oral CS. He also finds that gender has a little affect on the use of CS.


Message Abandonment Strategy

Message abandonment strategy is a communication strategy which “occurs when the learner begins to talk about a concept but is unable to continue due to lack of meaning structure, and stops in mid-utterance” (Tarone, 1980: 429). This strategy was used by the lecturer when she did not continue her explanation of the topic due to a couple of reasons. In the interview, the lecturer mentioned that she did not actually want to avoid the topic; rather, her mind was distracted by the slide presentation. The slide showed something else when she had not finished explaining the current topic, so that she then explained what was shown on the screen/computer. Thus, it can be said that the use of the message abandonment strategy was not due to her lack of lexical and grammatical inadequacy; rather, to technical effect of the usage of the teaching aid and psychological distraction of focus.

Malasit & Sarobol (2013) investigate 30 students of an English program in Thai classroom situation for the use of CS with different tasks. Their findings show the frequent use of message abandonment strategy and put it in fifth rank of frequency. They mention that for difficult tasks the students tend to use the avoidance strategies which include topic avoidance and message abandonment.


The Use of Fillers and Pauses

The lecturer used fillers, such as er or um many times during the teaching learning process. Even though Tarone (1980) does not include fillers as a communication strategy in her taxonomy, several researchers (Malasit & Sarobol, 2013; Hua, et al. 2012; Begovic, 2011; Jorda, 1997; Dornyei & Scott, 1995) who discuss on CS mention that fillers are part of CS which are categorized under stalling or time gaining strategy which are used to have time to think for the proper language units to make the conversation keep going. Kongsom (2009:30) states in his research that the use of fillers is not intended to compensate vocabulary lack but rather to give time to think and to keep on the conversation.

Begovic (2011) mentions that pauses and fillers are good tools for a speaker to think and plan what they want to say next, and how to do so. In more details Faerch and Kasper (1983) distinguish four different types of pausing: articulatory pauses, pauses for breathing, conventional pauses, and hesitation pauses. These pauses are categorized into unfilled (silent) pauses and filled pauses which are indicated by non-lexical activity such as er, em, erm, oh or turn-based starters such as well, I mean, you know, I don’t know (Faerch and Kasper, 1983).

The interview with the lecturer in this study showed the reason for the use of many fillers and pauses that was slight different from the results of Kongsom’s research. The lecturer said that she used the fillers and pauses because she waited to see the students’ reaction of what she had just said.

This finding of using many pauses and fillers in this current study is similar to the finding of the study conducted by Malasit & Sarobol (2013) who investigate the use of CS by Thai learners. They find that these learners use fillers/hesitation most frequently (43.33%). They use them because the strategyallows the learners to process their cognitive demands required from the task and help the speech to flow naturally.


The Students’ Perception of Communication Strategy Use


The students of the bilingual class perceived the use of CS employed by the lecturer as a helpful tool for better comprehension of the subject matter. As found in the findings, the students perceived positively towards the use of strategies which involve the first language, which are language switch and literal translation, and circumlocution. They, in contrast, perceived negatively towards the use of topic avoidance and message abandonment.

These findings are not similar to those of a study by Moattarian (2012). She investigates 100 students to give their perceptions about the use of CS in oral and written mediums. Even though their perceptions are not aimed at the use of CS by their teacher, their opinions about the use of CS are relevant to the current study. In Moattarian’s study, the students perceive that the use of strategies which involve the use of first language get negative attitudes, while the strategies which go to the group of achievement or compensatory strategies get positive attitude.

Most of the students (88%) in this study perceived that the use of CS by the lecturer helped them in understanding what the lecturer tried to explain. However, the strategies which involved the second language were preferred by the students. When the students were asked to rank which CS help them best, they determined that literal translation communication strategy was the best, followed by language switch strategy and circumlocution strategy. Their choice was based on the reason that these strategies could help them in understanding the message better.

The students (77%) also mentioned that they liked the lecturer’s use of English in the classroom though she often experienced difficulties in expressing herself in English (67%) and she used several CS to overcome her difficulties. The CS that the lecturer used most often, as perceived by the students, wererespectively: literal translation (90%), language switch (82%), circumlocution (46%), approximation (46%), appeal for assistance (44%), and message abandonment (35%). In responding to the use of these fillers and pauses the students perceived that they did not help much for their comprehension but it did not matter much because the students can comprehend it from the actions of the lecturer in the classroom.




In terms of the use of CS in the classroom, it can be concluded that the lecturer used several different CS to help them convey the subjects she was teaching. The strategies that she used most often were those which were related to the first language (L1), namely language switch and literal translation. The language switch strategy that was used by the lecturer includes code-switching and code-mixing. In line with the fact that language switch strategy can be code-mixing and code-switching, the use of code-mixing strategy in this study was more frequent than code-switching. From the interview with the lecturer the use of more code-mixing was caused partly by automatic slip of tongue and mostly by her intention to make her message understood by the students.

In summary, the conclusion drawn from this study stated that the use of the CS by the lecturer was intended to make the concepts of the subject matters understood by the students, and because the lecturer had difficulties in the linguistic system. The use of language switch was intended to make the language understood by the listeners. Language switch strategy was unavoidable and important in the process of teaching-learning since it functioned to increase attention among students, to qualify messages and to facilitate further understanding on the topic discussed. It is clear that in this study understanding or making the message across is more important in the communication and interaction between the lecturer and the students than the efforts to use English in the bilingual class.





Auer, P. 1999. Code-Switching in Conversation: Language, Interaction and Identity. London: Routledge.

Baker, C. 2001. Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (3rd Ed). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Begovic, N. 2011. A Study of Communicative Strategies in Upper Secondary School. Master’s thesis. Akademin För Utbildning Och Ekonomi, Avdeningen för humaniora. Högskolan I Gävle. Online from: accessed on 18 November 2012.

Bialystok, E. 1990.Communication Strategies: A Psychological Analysis of Second-Language Use. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Binhayeearong, T. 2009. Communication Strategies: A Study of Students with High and Low English Proficiency in the M.3 English Program at Attarkiah Islamiah School. Unpublished Thesis. Prince of Songkla University. Downloaded from: 311751.pdf on 23 April 2011.

Blom, J-P. & Gumperz, J. 1972. “Social Meaning in Linguistic Structures: Code Switching in NorthernNorway.” In: Gumperz, J. & Hymes, D. (Eds.): Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication, 407-434. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Bolander, I. 2008. Code switching in the classroom: A sign of deficiency or a part of the learning process? Retrieved form: on Thursday, 29 April 2010.

Brisk, M. E. 2006. Bilingual Education: From Compensatory to Quality Schooling. 2nd Edition. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Chen, W. D. 2009. A pilot study of some ROCMA cadets’ difficulties in English speaking. WHAMPOA – An Interdisciplinary Journal. 57. pp119-126.

Corder, S. P. 1981. Error Analysis and Interlanguage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dornyei, Z. & Scott, M. 1997.Review Article: Communication Strategies in a SecondLanguage: Definitions and Taxonomies. Language Learning. 47:1 pp. 173-210.

Faerch, C.& Kasper, G. (Eds.). 1983. Strategies in Interlanguage Communication. London: Longman.

Ghout-Khenoune, L. 2006. A Study of the Effect of Two Tasks on the Use of Communication Strategies. The Case of Second Year Students of EFL. Unpublished dissertation. Online download from: thesenum/GHOUT_KHENOUNE_LYNDA.pdf. Accessed on 8 February 2011.

González, J. M (Ed.). 2008. Encyclopedia of Bilingual Education. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.

Guhlemann, M. 2011. Personality, Motivation and Communication Strategy Use: Individual Differences in the language classroom A Study of Language Students and Language Teachers. Master’s Thesis. Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping University.

Huang, C. 2010. Exploring Factors Affecting the Use of Oral Communication Strategies. Online article from accessed and downloaded on 24 March 2012.

Hung, Y. 2012. The Use of Communication Strategies by Learners of English and Learners of Chinese in Text-based and Video-based Synchronuous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC). Durham Thesis, Durham University. Available at Durham Theses online:

Jorda, M. P. S. 1997. Some Comments on the Existing Typologies of Communication Strategies: Its Effect on the Interpretation of Empirical Findings. Downloaded Retrieved on Sunday, 24 March 2013.

Kongsom, T. 2009. The Effects of Teaching Communication Strategies to Thai Learners. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis. University of Southampton.

Malasit, Y. & Sarobol, N. 2013. Communication Strategies Used by Thai EFL Learners. A proceeding. Online. Downloaded from: http://www.fllt2013. org/ private_folder/Proceeding/802.pdf. Accessed on 12 July 2013.

Moattarian, A. 2012. Iranian EFL Learners’ Perception and Performance of Communication Strategies in Different Mediums of Communication. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol. 2, No. 11, pp. 2349-2356.

Nilep, C. 2006. “Code switching” in Sociocultural Linguistics. Colorado Research in Linguistics. Vol. 19. Boulder: University of Colorado.

Selinker, L. 1972. “Interlanguage”. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL). 10, 209-231.

Sinha, S. 2009. Code switching and code mixing among Oriya trilingual children – a study. Language in India. Vol. 9/4. pp. 274-283.

Suharyadi, 2010. Classroom Interaction in English in Mathematics and Science Classes (A Case Study at Rintisan Sekolah Bertaraf International [RSBI] SMA Negeri 3 Malang). Unpublished Thesis. Malang: State University of Malang.

Takehara, A. 2000. An Action Research Study on Communication Strategies Japanese Junior High School English Classes with ALTs. Unpublished thesis. Master Degree of School Education. Hyogo University of Teacher Education. Japan.

Tarone, E. 1980. Communication Strategies, Foreigner Talk, and Repair in Interlanguage. Language Learning. 30(2).pp. 417-431.

Ting, S. & Phan, G. Y.L. 2008. Adjusting communication strategies to language proficiency. Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Online. Retrieved from on 31 January 2011.

Wooffitt, R. 2005. Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis: A Comparative and Critical Introduction. London: SAGE.

Yang, D. & Gai, F. 2010. Chinese Learners’ Communication Strategies Research: a Case Study at Shandong Jiaotong University. Cross-Cultural Communication. 6(1). 56-81.

Zhang, Y. 2007.Communication Strategies and Foreign Language Learning. US-China Foreign Language.5/4

Improving Intelligibility of Voiced and Voiceless “th” Consonants in the Speeches of Sophomores Using Pronunciation Drills



Maksud Temirov, Graduate Program in English Language Teaching, StateUniversity of Malang




 This article is based on a study conducted with the intention of treating a university sophomores’ difficulties in producing intelligible /θ, ð/ sounds and enabling them to achieve faultless pronunciation of these sounds by applying pronunciation drilling technique through authentic teaching sessions.

The research design was an Action Research. The subjects were 25 sophomores (4th semester students) of English Department of State University of Malang (East Java, Indonesia). Coming from four different groups (G, GG, H, and J), they formed up a single speaking class at the department. Their ages ranged from 18 to 20. The preliminary study as well as the remedial classes were held on the University campus. The focal instrument of the study was a short text including 12 words each having “th” consonants (/ð/, /θ/ sounds) that was read aloud by the subjects in the preliminary study as well as during and after the teaching sessions. The 3 recordings were carefully analyzed and compiled on a compact disc.

The pronunciation drilling technique was implemented in one cycle comprising 4 remedial lessons.The implementation of the action was based on the lesson plans. The researcher himself was the teacher to deliver the remedial lessons through various pronunciation activities such as exercising drills, minimal pair discrimination, tongue-twisters, reading texts on the subjects.The three pronunciation activities were chosen because of the practice in hearing and saying the “th” consonants, moreover, the words containing “th” consonants are pronounced in two ways and the spelling of “th” does not overlap with pronunciation. The assessment of “th” sounds were assessed on whether the sounds were pronounced correctly or not. If one of the sounds, either the voiced “th” or the voiceless one were confusedly pronounced using a different similar or dissimilar sounds instead, such as [d], [t], [f], [s], [z], they were immediately noted down in corresponding tables. However, the correctly pronounced consonants were shown in ticks (ü). The success percentage of each 12 words included in the short text were shown in interactive graphs.

The important questions that the researcher decided to deal with were:(1) Can pronunciation drilling technique improve the sophomores’ pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ consonants? (2) Can sophomores achieve intelligible pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ consonants with ease? The questions were answered with positive results. The students could achieve intelligible production of the two sounds by the end of the study. The findings of this study showed that implementing pronunciation drilling technique when teaching individual sounds, such as /θ/and /ð/ in this case, could make the students achieve rather intelligible pronunciation of English words.

Even though several linguists argue that the pronunciation drilling techniques are rather old-fashioned method of teaching pronunciation, based on the results of the present study, however, the researcher believes that this technique is at least useful in teaching individual sounds. Therefore, the speaking class teachers, especially those at secondary schools, have to apply more pronunciation drilling activities in order enable their students achieve an intelligible English pronunciation before they reach the University level. For future researchers, it is suggested to use the result of this study as a reference in conducting researches in the related areas.

Keywords: pronunciation, voiced and voiceless consonants, problematic sounds in pronunciation, pronunciation of /θ, ð/, intelligibility


The background of the study chiefly discusses the topics, such as what pronunciation is, its importance, and why pronunciation should be taught. It also deals with intelligibility of speech, factors that interfere with correct pronunciation, drilling technique and its several ways of application when teaching individual sounds. Also, it explains about potential difficult and problematic English sounds for the Indonesian speakers of English, and production of voiced and unvoiced “th”consonants.


Pronunciation Problems of Most Indonesian Speakers of English

Through the years spent as well as the personal observations obtained through teaching English pronunciation to University students and being adjudicator in several provincial English language student contests in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, the researcher was faced with unintelligible English pronunciation of some students. Although the students were undergraduates or studying their Master’s Degree in the English department of some prominent Universities like Brawijaya University and State University of Malang, they were unaware of certain pronunciation mistakes in their speeches. Most of the students have substantial knowledge of English grammar and are able to make correct complex sentences in English; however, their unintelligibility in pronunciation makes their English proficiency incomplete and hard to be effortlessly perceived by another listener. For example, they happen to pronounce the words “fan” and “van” in the same way. That is because of the L1 impact, of course because Bahasa Indonesia lacks the English “v” sound. Apart from this, other relevant instances could be the incorrect pronunciation of the words “path”, “theater”, “whether”, etc. This problem comes either from the L1 effect or simply lack of awareness of correct English pronunciation. Those problems need to be treated.

Intelligible pronunciation is essential during a listening process, clear and correct pronunciation makes a conversation more comfortable for both the speaker and the listener and even helps to avoid misunderstanding.

David Keating (2013: 3) states that Indonesian speakers of English have problems resulting from L1 (first language) interference. In terms of pronunciation, many Indonesians have trouble pronouncing consonant clusters (3 or more consonants together in a word), as these clusters do not occur in Bahasa Indonesia.

Likewise, Indonesian speakers of English like several other non-native English speakers have significant problems concerning English consonant blends. In the current study to be conducted, the researcher takes the voiceless and voiced “th” sounds which are /θ/ as in the word thin and /ð/ as in the word mother to be one of the core issues that need to be studied and corrected through teaching and practice as they are commonly mispronounced among non-native speakers of English, such as the native speakers of Bahasa Indonesia.

In the case of sophomores at the university, a reasonable accuracy in the pronunciation of individual sounds such as the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds as mentioned above should certainly have been achieved; earlier at school; however many students still fail to attain perfection.

Pronunciation problems may occur when non-native speakers communicate because speakers are used to sounds that exist in their mother tongue but may not exist in the target language. There are a lot of sounds that do exist or are similar in English and Indonesian; however, there are sounds that are very different or do not exist in Indonesian.

There are several factors that influence the pronunciation of Indonesian learners of English. First, Indonesian learners use sounds that are in Indonesian language but may not exist in English. For instance the clear pronunciation of the[r] sound by an Indonesian speaker of English like in the word rektor (Eng.: rector) definitely makes their English speech worse and somehow irritating for the listener. Second, when reading or speaking, Indonesian students apply the rule of last syllable prominence which is not presented in English. For example, in the word Canada the stress normally falls on the first syllable [Canada] in the English language. However, when a typical Indonesian speaker of English pronounces the same word, he or she happens to stress either the second or the last syllable[Canada]/[Canada]. Lastly, Indonesian learners do not distinguish between the written and spoken form as in Indonesian the written and spoken forms resemble and this goes hand in hand with pronouncing the silent letters e.g. the word salmon is usually pronounced as /sælmən/ instead of /sæmən/ by Indonesian learners.


Potentially Problematic English Sounds for Indonesians

The most problematic vowel sounds for Indonesian learners of English are such as follows (there might be more; however, here are some instances only): /æ/ as in the word cat: since the vowel /æ/ does not exist in Indonesian, it is often pronounced as /e/ as in the word men; /ɪ/ as in the word ship: the short vowel does occur in Indonesian but it is frequently mixed with long vowel /i:/ as in the word sheep; /ɜ:/ as in the word bird: the vowel does not exist in Indonesian and it is frequently mispronounced by inexperienced Indonesian learners as / ʌ / as in the word cup or /ɑ:/ as in the word heart or vice versa; /eɪ/ as in the word tail: It is commonly pronounced as /e/ as in the word pen; or / əʊ/ as in the word phone: The common error made by Indonesian learners is that they do not distinguish between written and spoken form and therefore it is pronounced as /ɒ/ as in the word clock.

According to the researcher’s intent as well as his specific area of interest a closer look will be paid to consonants; particularly the two voiced and unvoiced “th” sounds. There are consonant sounds in English that neither exist nor have equivalent form in Indonesian and therefore confusion between consonants may occur.

The most problematic consonant sounds for Indonesian learners of English could probably be the followings: /θ/ as in the word theater: there is no sound similar to this consonant in Indonesian, and therefore it is often pronounced as /t/ or /s/ because of a close place of articulation; /ð/ as in the word brother: there is no representation of the consonant in Indonesian and therefore it is pronounced as /d/ or /z/ because of a close place of articulation; /dʒ / as in the word jar or language: the common error made by Indonesian learners is that they do not distinguish between written and spoken form and therefore it is usually confused with /j/ or / tʃ/; /z/ as in the word maze: in Indonesian language a rule of assimilation of end consonants is applied, which means that a voiced consonant becomes voiceless when it occurs in a final position, therefore the voiced consonant is pronounced as voiceless /s/ if it is in a final position; /g/ as in the word frog: Indonesian learners use a rule of assimilation of final consonants; therefore the voiced consonant becomes voiceless /k/ in a final position; /b/ as in the word cab: in Indonesian language a rule of assimilation of final consonants is used therefore, the voiced consonant is changed into voiceless /p/ in a final position; /v/ as in the word brave: in Indonesian learners apply a rule of assimilation of end consonants; therefore the voiced consonant is transformed into voiceless /f/ in a final position.

Similarly, another difficulty an Indonesian learner of the English language might face is that of minimal pairs. The term “minimal pairs” refers to two words within a language which have different meanings but vary in one sound segment only (Fromkin & Rodman,1993). Examples of this in English are the words “hit” and “heat”. There are many of these in the English language. Which minimal pairs cause a student problems, depends on the phonetics of their native language and their language of study (L1 and L2). In the case of Indonesian learners, “van” and “fan”, pose a problem because of the nature of the Indonesian language which lacks the sound for the English “v”. For this reason the language learners have difficulty with clearly differentiating between the sounds both when they hear them and when they attempt to pronounce them. In turn, difficulties with minimal pairs may even cause language learners problems in areas like reading and spelling, as students mix up words and thus meanings.


Similar Previous Studies in the Related Fields

In his famous book, Better Pronunciation, O’ Connor (1980: 25) presented 5 categories of pronunciation problems among learners from 6 Western and Oriental nationalities. One of them is sound substitution with other ones from English or from learners’ L1 due to the lack of corresponding English sounds in their mother tongues. As revealed by Fraser (2001: 33), speakers of other languages usually replace English consonants that are unfamiliar with near ones available in their mother tongues(also seen in Cruttenden, 2001, Lewis & Hill, 1992, River & Temperley, 1978).

Another similar investigation was conducted by Shafiro et al (2012)on the perception of American-English (AE) vowels and consonants by young adults who were either (a) early Arabic-English bilinguals whose native language was Arabic or (b) native speakers of the English dialects spoken in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where both groups were studying. In a closed-set format, participants were asked to identify 12 AE vowels presented in /hVd/ context and 20 AE consonants (C) in three vocalic contexts: /ɑCɑ/, /iCi/, and /uCu/. Both native Arabic and native English groups demonstrated high accuracy in identification of vowels (70 and 80% correct, respectively) and consonants (94 and 95% correct, respectively). For both groups, the least-accurately identified vowels were /ɑ/, /ɔ/, /æ/, while most consonant errors were found for /ð/, which was most frequently confused with /v/.

Dental fricatives /ð/ and /θ/ are among the most difficult phonemes for speakers of other languages due to the lack of them in most languages other than English (Cruttenden, 2001). He also noticed that /t/ and /d/were used as their frequent substitutions (also seen in Chan & Li, 2000)/z/, d/ and /s/ were produced instead of /ð/ and /θ/ correspondingly. Nguyen (2007) proved that 80% of her subjects were found to mispronounce /ð/ and /θ/ sounds.

In an action research on the role of continuous feedback in students’ pronunciation improvement Tran (2006) reviewed seven factors that affect the pronunciation of Vietnamese learners. Apart from well-known causes: native language, learners’ ages, she emphasized the influence of the amount of exposure to English, students’ own phonetic ability, their attitude to the learning of the language, motivation and teacher’s role. In attempt to discuss Vietnamese learners’ pronunciation of English sounds, Duong (2009) showed four main reasons that account for their failure in making the truly English consonants: (1) failure in distinguishing the difference, (2) influence of the mother tongue, (3) perception of mistakes, (4) inadequate drills and practice.


Why Teach Pronunciation?

Teaching pronunciation has undergone a long evolution. At the beginning of the 20th century everything was subordinated to teaching grammar and lexis and pronunciation was totally overlooked. Many things have changed since that time but on the other hand there are still some teachers who do not pay enough attention to pronunciation. According to Scrivener (2005: 284) this is partly because teachers themselves may feel more uncertain about it than about grammar and lexis, worried that they don’t have enough technical knowledge to help students appropriately.

It is widely recognized that acquiring good pronunciation is very important because bad pronunciation habits are not easily corrected. Kelly (2002: 11) states:

a learner who consistently mispronounces a range of phonemes can be extremely difficult for a speaker from another language community to understand. This can be very frustrating for the learner who may have a good command of grammar and lexis but have difficulty in understanding and being understood by a native speaker.

In the researcher’s opinion pronunciation is still neglected at schools. When teaching pronunciation it is difficult to create a lesson that would be only focused on pronunciation practice because pronunciation is taken as an additional practice in all course books. Another problem can be caused by the fact that emphasis is frequently given on individual sounds or distinguishing sounds from each other. According to Gilbert (2008: 1) there are two main reasons why pronunciation is neglected in classes. First, teachers do not have enough time in their lessons, which would be dedicated to pronunciation, and if there is time attention is usually given to drills which lead to discouraged students and teachers who both want to avoid learning and teaching pronunciation. Second, psychological factor plays a relevant role in learning pronunciation because students are not as sure about their pronunciation as they are about their knowledge of grammar and lexis. Gilbert (2008: 1) claims that the most basic elements of speaking are deeply personal and our sense of community is bound up in the speech rhythms of our first language. These psychological barriers are usually unconscious but they prevent speakers from improving the intelligibility. To be able to overcome the fears of speaking, teachers should set at the outset that the aim of pronunciation improvement is not to achieve a perfect imitation of a native accent, but simply to get the learner to pronounce accurately enough to be easily and comfortably comprehensible to other speakers (Ur 1984: 52).



Since pronunciation is a complex and important part of learning and teaching process teachers need to set goals and aims they want to achieve with their students. According to Ur (1984: 52) perfect accents are difficult if not impossible to achieve in foreign language the goal of teachers need to be, to make their students be easily understandable when communicating with other people.

When speaking about intelligibility there is no clear definition of it, but in general we can say that intelligibility means that a hearer can understand a speaker at a set time and situation without major difficulties, in other words, the more words a listener is able to identify accurately when said by a particular speaker, the more intelligible the speaker is (Kenworthy, 1990: 13). Therefore the pronunciation of the speaker does not have to be without errors if a listener is able to understand the utterance. Dalton & Seidlhofer (1994: 11) point out that intelligibility is by no means guaranteed by linguistic similarity and phonetic accuracy, but it is often overridden by cultural and economic factors.Consequently, despite the language factors there are other points that can influence the intelligibility such as whether the topic is familiar to both a speaker and a listener or whether the utterance of a speaker is expected by a listener (Online AMEP article published by Macquarie University of Sydney).

As far as intelligibility is concerned, Kenworthy (1990: 14) also points out that other factors can affect a speaker’s utterance e.g. if a learner’s speech is full of self-corrections, hesitations, and grammatical restructurings, then listeners will tend to find what he or she says difficult to follow. AMEP research center views this matter a little bit differently as they state that aspects influencing intelligibility are complex issues ranging from prosody, intonation, word stress, rhythm, syllable structure, segments, and voice quality to phrasing and sense group. The authors further outline that language teaching used to emphasize learning individual sounds rather than focusing on all aspects influencing intelligibility, and point out that recent studies claim that overall prosody, comprising stress, rhythm and intonation, may have greater prominence on intelligibility regardless a learner’s mother tongue.


Factors that Interfere with Correct Pronunciation

Most researchers agree that the learner’s first language influences the pronunciation of the target language and is a significant factor in accounting for foreign accents. So called interference from the first language is likely to cause errors in aspiration, stress, and intonation in the target language. Some Indonesian students tend to have difficulty with English sounds because they are deeply influenced by similar Indonesian sounds. However, they are very different from each other. A particular sound which does not exist in the native language can therefore pose a difficulty for the second language learners to produce or some times to try to substitute those sounds with similar ones in their mother tongue. These sounds include both vowels and consonants.

It is necessary to mention that there are several factors that need to be considered to be potential obstacles for a foreign language learner through acquisition of correct pronunciation. Those factors can be age factor, phonetic ability, lack of practice, motivation, personality or attitude and mother tongue. (Riswanto & Haryanto, 2012).

Underhill (1994: 15) said “sounds and words are the building blocks for connected speech, and specific and detailed work can be done at these levels without losing touch with the fluent speech from which the parts have been extracted.” Actually, sounds are the building blocks for all language skills. The researcher has seen great enthusiasm from teachers for learning, but also experienced resistance to teaching sounds, but sounds of a language are like the foundations of a building, or the roots of a tree. It should not just be B.Ed or M.Ed students who are learning phonology, it is an injustice to teachers who are expected to teach language if they are not given this practical knowledge and an injustice to the children who are struggling to learn.

Similarly, Schmid and Yeni-Komshian (1999), for example, found that native speaker listeners had increased difficulty detecting mispronunciations at the phonemic level as accentedness increased, and Derwing and Rossiter (2003) found similar issues among the experienced listeners in their study. Research has indicated that many teachers lack training and confidence in their expertise in pronunciation learning and teaching (Levis, 2006; Macdonald, 2002).


What is Drilling in Language Teaching?

According to Tice (2004), drilling is a technique that has been used in foreign language classrooms for many years. It was a key feature of audio lingual approaches to language teaching which placed emphasis on repeating structural patterns through oral practice.

At its simplest, drilling means listening to a model, provided by the teacher, or a tape or another student, and repeating what is heard. This is a repetition drill, a technique that is still used by many teachers when introducing new language items to their students. The teacher says (models) the word or phrase and the students repeat it.

Other types of drill include substitution drills, or question and answer drills. Substitution drills can be used to practice different structures or vocabulary items (i.e. one or more words change during the drill).


Prompt: ‘I go to work. He?

Response: ‘He goes to work.’

In question and answer drills the prompt is a question and the response the answer. This is used for practicing common adjacency pairs such as ‘What’s the matter?’, ‘I’ve got a (headache’) or ‘Can I have a (pen) please?’, ‘Yes here you are.’ The words in brackets here can be substituted during the drill.

In all drills learners have no or very little choice over what is said so drills are a form of very controlled practice. There is one correct answer and the main focus is on ‘getting it right’ i.e. on accuracy. Drills are usually conducted chorally (i.e. the whole class repeats) then individually. There is also the possibility of groups or pairs of students doing language drills together.



The researcher focused his study on pronunciation teaching of the voiced and voiceless “th” consonants /ð, θ/ as several previous empirical findings show as well as the researcher himself regards them as the most problematic aspects of pronunciation for Indonesian learners of English. It is important to mention that it was really problematic issue to find relevant previous studies on the current question in terms of Indonesian learners of English. The scholastic sources are limited and therefore most of the examples are often referred to the studies conducted outside the country. Considering the above mentioned alarming matter, the main questions at issue can be concluded as follows:

(1)   Can pronunciation drilling technique improve the sophomores’ pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ consonants?

(2)   Can sophomores achieve intelligible pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ consonants with ease?


The theoretical part concerns with crucial pronunciation issues as well as the factors that might have potential impact on teaching and learning process of pronunciation and it also provides some suggestions to elevate common pronunciation skills to real enunciation. Furthermore, it also emphasizes the issues of pronunciation in daily communication, the most problematic sounds for Indonesian learners of English as well as responding to certain questions like why pronunciation should be taught that may arise.

The theoretical significance can also be seen in reflecting on the teachers’ and students’ roles and aspects that influence a speaker’s intelligibility. The researcher finds the production of voiced and voiceless consonants /ð, θ/ to be of utmost significance that needs to be studied with the sophomore undergraduate students of English department of the State University of Malang through practicing certain pronunciation drills since these two consonants are representatives of the most difficult sounds in English for Indonesian speakers.

The research gives contribution to the English enunciation where the result of this study can be reference to improve the undergraduate students’ advance in pronunciation skills. For the other readers, the present research can be guidance whenever to investigate the other elements of enunciation issues with University students, especially ones who are enrolled in English departments.

The present study particularly concentrated on the controversial pronunciation issues; particularly concerning improving awareness of the correct pronunciation of certain English sounds such as [s], [z], [t], and [d] distinguishing them from “th” sounds observed in the speeches of the sophomore undergraduates of English department of the State University of Malang through using pronunciation drilling technique. Nevertheless, the research mostly dealt with the correct pronunciation of two problematic English sounds: voiced /ð/ and voiceless /θ/ that are encoded as “th” in written discourses.



The research was an action research to improve the students’ pronunciation of [th] /ð, θ/ sounds through practicing pronunciation drills. According to Bassey (as quoted by Koshy, 2005), action research (AR) is an inquiry which is carried out in order to understand, to evaluate, and then to change, in order to improve the educational practice as well as to provide teacher-researcher with a method for solving his or her everyday teaching problems.This action research was conducted in four cyclical processes: (1) planning, (2) implementing, (3) observing, and (4) reflecting (See table 2.1). The process was stopped in one cycle only as the researcher found out that the students could successfully meet the requirements stated in the success criterion.


Subjects and the Site of the Study

As the site of the study to be conducted, the researcher has selected the State University of Malang which is one of the prominent and accredited Universities in East Java, Indonesia. This University is well-known for its exceptional personnel preparation techniques along with erudite professors. Specifically, the subjects were 25 sophomores (4th semester) of English department of the University. The subjects, coming from four different groups (G, GG, H, and J), formed up a single speaking class at the department. Their ages ranged from 18 to 20. As of the students’ backgrounds, it is important to mention that they came from different parts of Indonesia and learned various local languages, such as Javanese, Madurese, Lomboknese, Balinese, Sundanese, Papuanese, etc., as their first language and that would have impact on their pronunciation of English sounds.

As the researcher found out from various sources, the English department was once found to be one of the best English teacher training institutions in South-East Asia. The subjects as well as the site to conduct the present research were selected according to the researcher’s personal observations, experience, and authentic empirical findings based on the current question at issue.


Research Procedure

In this study, the research procedure involved at least one cycle consisting of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting. The action was stopped when the objectives of the research had been achieved according to the success criterion. The researcher initially conducted a preliminary study as the starting point to conduct this research. The research procedure can be seen in Table1 below.


Table 1: Action Research Procedure (adapted from Kemmis & Mc. Taggart, 2000, cited in Koshy, 2005).

 25 students of the combined speaking class were given a short text which included words with 12 “th”consonants i.e. /ð, θ/ sounds in their pronunciation in order to find out whether the subjects had difficulty with pronouncing them correctly. The short text were read aloud by the subjects in turns and were simultaneously recorded by the researcher for further analysis. The task remained the same with the same conditions till the end of the research.
Findings: Subjects’ pronunciation of [th] /ð, θ/ sounds needs to be improved through remedial activities: exercising drills, minimal pair discrimination, tongue-twisters,   and reading texts.The preliminary study findings are thoroughly stated in the below pages.
Relevant lesson plans, materials (activities, handouts, etc.) multimedia (LCD projector, laptop, speaking dictionary, active speaker), the criteria of success, and research instruments were all prepared.
Four authentic teaching sessions took place based on lesson plans which were aimed at improving the students’ pronunciation of [th] /ð, θ/ sounds through remedial activities: exercising drills, minimal pair discrimination, tongue-twisters, and reading texts. After each two lessons, students underwent 2 recording sessions.
The collected data was analyzed, determined that the actions were successful and reported.


Problem Identification

At this very stage of the study (preliminary study) the researcher wanted to find out whether the presumed question in mind that the sophomores of the English Department, State University of Malang had problems with the pronunciation of voiced and voiceless “th” consonants as there are no same sounds in their mother tongue, was right or not. Second, the researcher wanted to ascertain if the students substitute the “th” sounds with other consonants with a near place of articulation. Lastly, the first recording functioned as an indicator of the initial conditions of the students’ pronunciation of “th” consonants.

The researcher recorded all the 25 students of the speaking class. The class was first introduced to the research questions. Additionally, the entire class got to know with the terms and conditions of the study in its turn. So, there evolved a stable mutual understanding between the class and the researcher before the launch of the research.

The researcher had prepared a short text with at least 12 words containing “th” consonants. Each student was given 10 minutes for preparation so that they could get familiar with the text. After the period of 10 minutes the students were asked to come individually in front of the class where the researcher recorded their readings. The students were required to come individually because the researcher presumed that they would be fully concentrated on the text; moreover, they might be distracted by the other students as well. While the students were reading the text the researcher was carefully recording their voices for further analysis.

After the recordings underwent a careful analysis, the pre-assumed problems were detected in the subjects’ pronunciations: almost all the subjects did not show any positive result. Taking this into account, the researcher began to plan the actions to take and prepared relevant lesson plans which were targeted to improve the subjects’ pronunciation of the “th” sounds. The lesson plans can be found in the appendices of the paper. The preliminary study results of each student are transformed into tables and the overall findings are presented in a graph demonstrating the exact number of correct and incorrect production.

MaksudFigure 1: First recording results.

Taking the results of the first recording in the preliminary study as a whole,the researcher’s initial questions were proven right. In nearly all cases students substituted “th” consonants with the consonants of a near place of articulation. To be specific, two similar sounds /t/ and /d/ superseded the /θ/and /ð/ sounds in most cases. However, there were rare occasions where some students produced /θ/and /ð/ sounds as /s/, /z/, /td/ /ds/, and /dz/. For example, according to the data analyzed from the preliminary study of this research, the word without was pronounced in various different ways. Those include the following unintelligible pronunciation samples of the word without:

/wɪtaʊt/ student 5, 20
/wɪzaʊt/ student 1
/wɪtdaʊt/ student 10
/wɪdsaʊt/ student 9, 13, 14, 19, 21, 22
/wɪdzaʊt/ student 15, 11
/wɪdaʊt/ stdnt 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 25
/wɪ ð aʊt/ student 8, 12, 24

Table 2: Unintelligible pronunciations of the word without by the students in the preliminary study.

As it is obvious from the example above, most of the students have replaced the /ð/ sound with the /d/ sound which is encoded as d consonant in written discourses. It is because the consonant d is pronounced with a near place of articulation to the voiced th. However, there were at least three students who could pronounce the word without correctly as it is supposed to be; yet it does not make a great difference because those successful respondents have failed to pronounce other words correctly. Besides, according to the analysis results of the first recording, some students presented correct pronunciation of certain words too. Nevertheless, it had no such a big power to prevent the research from proceeding to initiate immediate possible treatment on the students’ pronunciation dealing with the problem due to the huge pronunciation issue that showed up in the graph of overall results above. The graph shows that the sample words, such as the, then, there, and another were pronounced totally incorrectly by all 25 subjects. The only word that was pronounced correctly by at least four students was think as it is described in the chart.

In conclusion, there were all 25 subjects present during the first recording.The outcomes seem to be clear and support the researcher’s initial assumption. Students’ real problems with the “th” consonants were finally discovered. Thus, following the results, remedial lessons got a start at the next meeting according to the plan. The results from the second and third recordings can be found in the 3rd chapter of the paper.


The Cycle

The cycle consisted of four consequent stages: planning the action, implementing the action, observing the action, and reflecting the action. The detailed description of each stage is listed below.


Planning the Action

In this stage, the researcher prepared the procedure of using pronunciation drills to improve and correct the subjects’ production of “th” sounds. He prepared the relevant lesson plans to explain how the pronunciation drills can be implemented in teaching pronunciation and achieving the students’ success in producing the correct pronunciation. Furthermore, the researcher set the criterion of success as the guidance of the research’s success. The research instruments were also prepared along with lesson materials (activities, handouts, etc.) and multimedia (LCD projector, laptop, speaking dictionary, active speaker).


Success Criterion

In conducting the research, the criterion of success was crucially important in order to know whether the action was successful or not. Related to the study, the criterion was utilized to see whether the implementation of drilling technique in teaching pronunciation was successful or failed. The students underwent three recordings based on a short text which included 12 words with “th” consonants:

The students think it is possible to pass an exam without getting prepared. They think there is another way to succeed. There is something called “cheating paper” to help them. What if what they thought does not happen through the exam? Then nothing can help them.

The assessment of “th” sounds focused on whether the sounds were pronounced correctly and if not which consonants were used instead of them, the correctly pronounced consonants were ticked in the tables and if the consonants were pronounced incorrectly, a consonant used instead of them was noted down. The overall results are shown in graphs for each recording. In this case, the students’ success was determined according to the following criterion: Each student is able to correctly pronounce at least 10 of those words in the text at the time of final recording.


Research Instruments

The focal instrument to conduct the study was the researcher himself. However, a short text including 12 words each having “th” consonants (/ð/, /θ/ sounds) was prepared by the researcher in order to find out and solve the problem, respectively. The recordings were accomplished on an “iPhone 5” device in three subsequent steps: 1st recording during the preliminary study, the 2nd during the remedial lessons, and the last 3rd recoding after the remedial lessons were over. All those three steps of recordings are compiled on a CD. Additionally, there occurred unstructured interviews between recording events. They involved the researcher wanting to know or find out more about their comprehension and producing the correct pronunciation of those sounds without there being a structure or a preconceived plan or expectation as to how they will deal with that procedure.


Implementing the Action

The implementation of the action was based on the lesson plans and it took four weeks for the remedial lessons and recordings to be accomplished. The schedule of the lessons as well as the recordings can be found in the appendices section of this paper. The researcher himself was the teacher to deliver the remedial lessons through various pronunciation activities such as exercising drills, minimal pair discrimination, tongue-twisters, reading texts on the subjects. After each two remedial lessons there were held recording events to find out whether they perceived the input provided by the teacher-practitioner. The researcher had prepared a short text having 12 words with “th” consonants to be read aloud by the students individually. Their readings were then recorder for further analysis. The short text including the conditions remained the same for further recordings also.

The three pronunciation activities were chosen because of the practice in hearing and saying the “th” consonants, moreover, the words containing “th” consonants are pronounced in two ways and the spelling of “th” does not overlap with pronunciation. During the activities the researcher tried to follow the steps, which are needed when introducing new sounds, proposed by Doff (qtd. in Dalton and Seidlhofer 1994). The necessary steps to follow when students are introduced to new sounds are shown in Table 3 below.


Table 3: Steps taken when introducing new sounds to students according to Doff (qtd. in Dalton and Seidlhofer 1994).

1.Say the sound alone.
2. Say the sound in a word.
3. Contrast it with other sounds.
4. Write the word on a board.
5. Explain how to make the sound.
6. Get students to repeat the sound in chorus.
7. Get individual students to repeat the sound.


Kenworthy (1990) adds that when introducing new sounds students need to hear them together with familiar sounds occurring in their mother tongue.

First, the introductory lesson was only about how to produce the sounds and what happens with our vocal tract during the production. The objectives of the lesson were to explain the basic features of pronunciation and create a friendly and supportive atmosphere in the class. Second, the minimal pair practice activities focused on demonstrating the contrast between the target consonants /θ/ and /ð/ and other consonants with a near place of articulation. These activities helped the students to realize how different the sounds are and therefore, comprehensible pronunciation is needed. Third, tongue twisters were selected because they present the difference between the /θ/ and /ð/ consonants and other sounds; and moreover, they represent activities that are funny and enjoyable for the students. Finally, the usage of the reading texts moved the students beyond repetition and drills as they had to think about the text properly, practice how to say each word and get encouraged to work on their intelligibility.

  1. Observing the Action

Observing the action was intended to obtain the data as the result of the stage of implementing the actions. Observing was chiefly the process of recording and gathering data about any aspects or events which were occurring during the implementation. Generally speaking, the students’ pronunciation of [th] /ð, θ/ sounds based on a short text were recorded after each two remedial lessons.

In collecting the data related to the students’ attendance during the teaching and learning process the attendance record checklist was used. The checklist was later given to the home teacher who preferred to know if her students were all present through the research period. Later, the home teacher asked the researcher’s opinion about her class: how active and interested the students were, what improvement they made, what shortcomings the researcher experienced during the study, and so forth. The sample conversation in the format of Whatsapp chat can be found in the documentation section of this paper.

  1. Reflecting the Action

In this step, all the relevant data from the implementation was analyzed and reviewed to examine if the action was successful or not by matching the observation results with the success criterion. In other words, reflection was intended to see what had been done and what had not been done within the action. In reflecting, data analysis was carried out. The data obtained from the recordings between each two remedial lessons was analyzed. Further explanations on the assessment of the recordings can be seen below.

  1. Assessing the Recordings

Assessing the recordings was a crucial part of the thesis, but it was not an easy task to be done as Celce-Murcia et al (1996) state that in the existing literature on teaching pronunciation, little attention is paid to issues of testing and evaluation. Likewise, in this study the assessment of “th” sounds were assessed by the researcher himself on whether the sounds were pronounced correctly or not. If one of the sounds, either the voiced “th” or the voiceless one were confusedly pronounced using a different similar or dissimilar sounds instead, such as [d], [t], [f], [s], [z], they were immediately noted down in the individual tables. However, the correctly pronounced consonants were shown in ticks (ü). The success percentage of each 12 words included in the short text were shown in interactive graphs.It is important to mention that the researcher used speaking dictionaries, such as Encarta and Longman in assessing the recordings.



Taking the results from the preliminary study into account, the researcher began to take actions based on the lesson plans prepared. The research was conducted during the academic year 2014 while the subjects – 25 combined speaking class attendants coming from four different classes at the English department, G, GG, H, and J classes were in their 4th semester. The remedial lessons were delivered in four meetings for four weeks; specifically, the lessons took place on March 6, 12, 18, and 24, 2014. The recording sessions took place after each two meetings: on March 17 and March 27, 2014.

After a couple of remedial lessons (March 6 and March 12, 2014) devoted to the practice of /θ/and /ð/ consonants were delivered to the subjects, they were recorded again for the second time (March 17, 2014) to see whether the activities applied through the two previous lessons were already showing their efficiency on the subjects. The students were provided with exactly the same text which was used in the preliminary study. Similarly, the conditions also remained the same as they were during the first recording that is reading the short text aloud to get their speeches recorded.

According to the consequent steps that were supposed to be taken through the research procedure, the next action in the plan was continuing delivering the remedial lessons consisting of various pronunciation activities dealing with /θ/and /ð/ sounds practice as shown in the lesson plans. After two active and encouraging lessons (March 18 and March 24, 2014), the students underwent the last recording session on March 27, 2014. The text,conditions and the process of recording remained completely the same as they were during the previous two recordings.

The assessment of the recordings during the observation process are thoroughly described on the following section.


  1. Second Recording

During the period between the first and second recording the students got familiar with “th” consonant production and were exposed to several activities that were devoted to pronunciation practise of “th” sounds.

First, they students were explained how “th” consonants are produced. Then they were provided with opportunities to practice their production. The aims of the activity were to raise students’ awareness about the ways the consonants are produced and to focus their attention to their production.

Second, students were working with minimal pair practice activities.These activities helped them with discrimination of “th” sounds from other consonants with a near place of articulation. The objectives of these exercises were to assist students with realization of the differences in pronunciation of “th” consonants and other consonants, to raise their awareness of “th” sounds production and to provide them with opportunities to practice the sounds. Moreover, both activities demonstrated how intelligibility is important during communication process.

On March 17, 2014 the students were recorded again. At this stage the researcher wanted to find out whether they still had problems with pronunciation of “th”consonants or whether their pronunciation improved and if yes which “th”sounds were pronounced correctly, whether those that occur in the initial,middle or final position.

Like the results from the first recording, the results of the second recording of each student were also transformed into tables. The tables offer an opportunity to compare how the pronunciation of individual “th” sounds changed. Tables can be found in the appendices. The overall findings are presented in a graph demonstrating the percentage rate of correct answers.


Figure 2: Second recording results.

The graph above shows that the students showed significant results during the second recording unlike the first recording results. It means that two remedial lessons during the period between the first and second recordings were advantageous for the students. The words think, nothing, they, something, through, without, them, and thought were pronounced correctly by most of the students during the second recording. However, the words like the, then, there, and another were incorrectly pronounced by the majority of the subjects. This means the students were still experiencing difficulty with the pronunciation of the voiced “th” because most of them did well in pronouncing the voiceless one as it is also clear from the graph above. In this part, students’ pronunciation based on the comparison of the two recordings will be analyzed.


Student 1, 8, 12, 18:

These students showed better results compared with other respondents during the first recording. Like any other respondent in the second recording, most of them did well in pronouncing voiceless “th” consonant. Taking the results from the table we can say that their pronunciation was improved significantly till the time of second recording.


Student 2, 4, 21, 22, 24:

These are the students who could pronounce at least one word correctly in the first recording. Nontheless, based on the results from the table we can say that their pronunciation showed noteworthy improvement during the second recording. It can be seen on the individual tables in the appendices.


Student 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 23, 25:

These students produced the most problematic “th” sounds pronunciation during the first recording. However, the results of the second recording show that their awareness of the sounds has significantly improved. Most of them could correctly pronounce the words with voiceless “th” consonant. Though their results are getting improved, they still need to be aware of the voiced “th” consonant pronunciation as most of them are still experiencing difficulties.

To conclude, the analysis of the first and second recording, in terms of improvement of “th” sounds pronunciation, demonstrates that pronunciation of the voiceless “th” consonant is easier for the students than pronunciation of the voiced one. The students were able to improve their pronunciation of the consonant mainly in the initial and middle positions, but on the other hand pronunciation of the word another was not improved at all. There was only one student, namely student 2 (AN) who pronounced the word correctly. There were some students who changed the certain sounds to other sounds pronounced with a near place of articulation during the second recording. Nevertheless, as far as the voiced “th” sounds is concerned, pronunciation was slightly improved as well, mainly in the initial position.

  1. Third recording

The period between the second and third recording was filled up with activities aimed at further correction of “th” consonants.

The first set of activities was devoted to tongue twisters. The objectives of using the tongue twisters were to provide the students with funny and enjoyable drilling exercises in order to practice pronunciation of the target sounds.

The second set was aimed at oral reading text. During these activities the students were exposed to two reading texts containing not only “th”consonants but also consonants with a near place of articulation. The main focus was paid to sustaining correct pronunciation and to demonstrate howunintelligible pronunciation can change the meaning of the texts.

On March 27, 2014 the students underwent the last recording.The findings of the third recording are stated in tables that were created foreach student and the final finding are noted in a graph demonstrating the percentage of correct answers.

Figure 3: Third recording results.

From the graph showing the students’ final results above, it can be concluded that the students were able to improve their pronunciation of both voiced and voiceless “th” consonants in no more than one cycle. The highest improvements were noted in both initial, middle positions. However, there still were some students, such as student 3 (PAR), student 16 (SF), student 17 (BYP), student 20 (ZP), student 22 (MHRH), and 23 (MRF) who could successfully meet the success criterion set by the researcher at the beginning of the research but presented at least one or two unintelligible pronunciation of certain words. Those are noted down in the corresponding tables respectively.Except for the student 17 (BYP) who unintelligibly pronounced the word through in the final recording, every student pronounced the voiceless “th” consonant i.e. /θ/ properly in all positions.On the other hand, the above mentioned students who provided at least one or two mispronunciation of “th” consonants in the 3rd recording experienced complexity with the voiced “th” consonant i.e. /ð/ in all three positions. They are shown in the corresponding individual tables above. The words which were not pronounced intelligibly are the, they, then, there, them, and another. Those five students were stuck to substituting the /ð/ sound with /d/ in most cases. Nevertheless, due to the fact that they made at least one mistake and managed to successfully meet the success criterion, it was not regarded as a considerable issue to proceed to the next cycle.Generally speaking, as far as the two voiced and voiceless “th” consonants: /θ/ and /ð/ are concerned, the results show that a major progress was made during a single cycle since the students were exposed to a wide range of pronunciation drilling activities through the remedial classes. It is important to mention that the remedial classes which occurred between the recordings were conducted in rather prolonged hours because the students showed a great enthusiasm toward the pronunciation practice activities and all of them had some sort of passion to improve their pronunciation of “th” consonants which are normally regarded as the most problematic English sounds for a non-native speaker. Therefore, the researcher had to expand the pre-planned lesson plans adding more similar pronunciation drilling activities which are not necessarily mentioned in the original lesson plans in order to equip the students with more skills of the intelligible practice of the problematic /θ/ and /ð/ sounds through using pronunciation drills, such as minimal pair discrimination, tongu-twisters, and reading texts respectively.



The discussion deals with the discussion of the findings presented in the previous chapter, principally the importance of pronunciation intelligibility for the EFL learners as well as the crucial role of pronunciation drills in attaining intelligibility. The discussion covers the procedures of the remedial lessons conducted during the research as well as their effectiveness on the subjects in relation to the existing theoretical and empirical evidence.


  1. English Pronunciation and the Target of Comfortable Intelligibility

As presented in the previous chapters, it was found out that almost all of the subjects have a problem when it comes to intelligible pronunciation of certain English sounds, particularly the two /θ/ and /ð/ sounds which majority of EFL learners consider to be one of the most problematic English sounds to produce. Hence, the researcher decided to give a treatment to the subjects’ unintelligible pronunciation of “th” consonants through conducting several remedial lessons applying pronunciation drilling technique in order to support them to achieve more intelligible production of /θ/ and /ð/ sounds of English. Let’s start the discussion with some theoretical support on comfortable intelligibility in pronunciation.

Morley (1991) states that the goal of pronunciation should be changed from the achievement of perfect pronunciation to the more realistic goals of developing functional intelligibility, communicability, increased self-confidence, the development of speech monitoring abilities and speech modification strategies for use beyond the classroom. Abercrombie (1991) describes comfortable intelligibility as pronunciation which can be understood with little or no conscious effort on the part of listener. Morley (1991) also states that the overall aim is for the learner to develop spoken English that is easy to understand, serves the learner’s individual needs, and allows a positive image as a speaker of a foreign language. Additionally, the learner needs to develop awareness and monitoring skills that will allow learning opportunities outside the classroom environment. Obviously, creating a stronger connection between pronunciation and communication can help enhance learners’ motivation by bringing pronunciation to a level of intelligibility and encouraging learners’ awareness of its potential as a tool for making their language not only easier to understand but more effective (Jones, 2002).

Pronunciation is clearly a central factor in learners’ success in making themselves understood (Elson, 1992). Morley(1991) also states that intelligible pronunciation is an essential component of communication competence that teachers should include in courses and expect learners to do well. The ability to employ stress,intonation, and articulation in ways that support comprehension is a skill that for learners from many language backgrounds will only come slowly. Elson (1992) urges that learners need to be encouraged to immerse themselves in the target language and to persist in spite of the difficulties that are part of the language-learning process. The experience of unintelligibility or incomprehension grows larger because of sensitivity to ‘correctness’ or the need to communicate successfully in the target language. The speaker’s self image and sense of accomplishment is closely bound to understanding and being understood. The result can be a high degree of frustration for the speaker or listener who might see each moment of incomprehension as a personal fault and responsibility. Klyhn (1986) observes that learners should be made aware that every message they utter needs to be understood.

  1. Individual Sounds Teaching and Its Application in the First Remedial Lesson

In terms of teaching individual sounds, most significant techniques suggested are minimal pairs, drilling, taping students’ speech to compare with each other as well as with a fixed model, choral pronunciation, lip-reading, classifying words according to their consonant, varying their criterion of “good” in pronunciation teaching(Kelly, 2003; Hewings, 2004; Lewis & Hill, 1992). Similarly, in the present study, the researcher has applied almost all of the above-mentioned techniques as key strategies to collect data as well as a means of improving the subjects’ pronunciation enabling them to achieve more intelligible English pronunciation.

As a compilation from materials of different sources, To et al. (2006) suggested a number of techniques of teaching sounds which are minimal pairs, and pronunciation games employing phonemic alphabet. Those ones have been suggested in view of Communicative Teaching approach. Vu (2008) proved that (1) Eliciting and Telling, (2) Minimal pairs, (3) Phonemic chart, (4) Exposure to English language are four really effective techniques to correct students’ mispronunciation. Those techniques are time-saving, therefore, suit well with the time limitation in class when pronunciation is integrated in speaking lessons.

During the first remedial lesson, the teaching method focused the students’ attention to the production of “th” consonant sounds. The main goals of the activities were to provide learners with an opportunity to practice the sounds in isolation, help them to fix the pronunciation and gain a control over the production. Moreover, students were given an opportunity to practice pronunciation of the problematic sounds. Since the activities were playful and entertaining students were actively involved from the very beginning and moreover, these activities helped them breakdown the initial fear of pronunciation. The only problem some students experienced was occasional substitution of /ð/ and /θ/ with /s/, /z/, /t/ or /d/. In this case the researcher followed the tip with the chewing gum suggested by Kenworthy (1990). The researcher told the students to position the gum on the roof of the mouth immediately behind the upper front teeth; for s/, /z/, /t/ and /d/ the tip of the tongue has to touch the gum; for “th” they must avoid it (Kenworthy, 1990). The researcher found her idea with a chewing gum extremely helpful as it offers an aid suitable for acquiring the postures needed for pronunciation of /ð/ and /θ/. After the introductory lesson the students felt more relaxed and familiar with the form and production of the sounds. Later, the second class concentrated on minimal pair discrimination.


  1. Minimal Pair Discrimination and Its Application in the Second Lesson


Minimal pairs have been defined in several ways.

(1)   Minimal pairs are “pairs of words that differ in meaning on the basis of a change in only one sound” (Avery & Ehrlich, 1995).

(2)   “A first rule of thumb to determine the phones of any language is to see whether substituting one sound for other results in a different word. If it does, the two sounds represent different phones. When two different forms are identical in every way except for one sound segment that occurs in the same place in the string, the two words are called a minimal pairs” (Fromkin & Rodman, 1993).

(3)   “A minimal pair consists of two words pronounced alike except for a single phonemic difference. A phoneme is the smallest unit of significantly distinctive sound. The phonemic difference is responsible for radical changes in the meaning of the word, as in hat-hit or thing-sing. Consequently, errors in auditory discrimination and/or articulation of these sounds may result in misunderstanding and misinterpretations of the meaning of the word, phrase or sentence”(Nilsen & Nilsen, 1973).

When properly employed, minimal pairs effectively facilitate pronunciation acquisition. The good cases in point are lessons and exercises designed by Baker (2006)in the two textbooks entitled Tree or Three and Sheep or Ship;and by Baker & Goldstein (2008) in the textbook entitled Pronunciation Pairs. These two authors share and illustrate the view that “language teachers can improve their students’ pronunciation markedly drilling minimal pairs in order to help them improve their intelligibility” (Hansen, 1995). When learners compare and contrast discrete sounds in the environment presented in minimal pairs, the importance of these sounds in denoting word meaning is transferred to their mind naturally.Experience shows that “pronunciation classes… make students more conscious of their own pronunciation and aware of ways in which their pronunciation differs from the model offered” (Rajadurai, 2001).

The teaching sequences applied through the remedial lessons were examples of pronunciation drilling activities. Moreover, in the second lesson, they were used to raise learners’ awareness of pronunciation and discrimination of /θ/ and /ð/ and the consonants with a near place of articulation. During the second stage students revised the problematic consonants /θ/ and /ð/ in order to establish accurate pronunciation and focus on them. The researcher prepared an interesting musical activity which enabled the students to practice the minimal pairs discrimination in a fun way. However, there were choir repeating and other similar tasks, additionally. The third stage served for realizing the difference between /θ/, /ð/ and consonants with a near place of articulation. The expected outcome was that the students would not have any major problems during any stage; although the last step was more complex they would not face up any difficulties and were able to distinguish the words correctly. The goals of those activities were to provide students with as much practice as possible in order to help them improve their pronunciation and show them how intelligibility is important during communication because mispronunciation of “th” sounds can lead into misunderstanding between a speaker and a listener. However, majority of the students were still having problems dealing with the pronunciation of the “th” sounds, particularly with the voiced “th” in most cases. Hence, the remedial lessons were kept undertaken further in order to achieve the expected result.

Actually, minimal pairs are a more serious problem than simple poor pronunciation or listening skills on the part of a student. This is because mistakes with minimal pairs do not simply impair understanding; they can lead students to believe that they understand when in fact they are quite mistaken. These kinds of mistakes can hamper their conversation skills in the obvious way that they are difficult to understand, but it can also affect their confidence and thus their inclination to even try to communicate in the first place.

The problem with helping students with minimal pairs is that it is not as simple as teaching a rule and then reinforcing it with an exercise and/or homework. This simply does not provide enough practice to enable to students to learn and become competent with new phonetics. Though minimal pairs are addressed by many language learning texts, they generally do so in a brief, one time activity or some simple repetition. Though this is better than nothing, this does little to aid students in gaining any lasting improvement in either listening or pronunciation. Minimal pairs need to be seen as a problem to be dealt with over a longer period.


  1. Tongue Twisters and Texts: Their Application in the 3rd and 4th Lessons

During the third meeting on March 18, 2014 the subjects were exposed to tongue twisters practice. Tongue twisters concentrated on accurate production and helped the students to improve their pronunciation skills. This step gave the students an opportunity to hear the sentences over and over so that they could fix the correct pronunciation of “th” consonants. As far as the last step concerned, students had to focus on faultless pronunciation. Since the texts did not only contain “th” consonants but also consonants with a near place of articulation and therefore the meaning of them would be changed completely. The objective of the tongue twisters was to help the students realize how important accurate pronunciation is through enjoyable activities. The results taken from the second recording showed that the students presented better results in contrast to the previous recording results. Nevertheless, there was one more step to go according to the lessons planned. Thus, the researcher went on conducting the remedial lessons further.

Tongue twisters are one of the few types of spoken wordplay that are fun to recite and are a great tool to aid learner’s language development.Attempting to recite a tricky rhyme or tongue twister as fast as possible without tripping over one’s tongue is a great challenge. For example, if one tries to recite this tongue twister “The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday a sample tricky one used in the remedial lesson and he/she can’t help but smile and enjoy the race to get it right. So did the subjects when they were exposed to similar activities. The tongue twisters used in the remedial lesson usually relied on alliteration – the repetition of a sound starting with a similar letter – with a phrase designed such that it is made very easy to slip (hence the fun).Tongue twisters are not only a linguistic fun and game but serve a practical purpose for language and speech development. For example, tongue twisters may be used by foreign students of English to improve their accent and speech pathologists often use them as a tool to help those with speech difficulties.

Brook suggests the following advantageous applications of tongue twisters to improve one’s pronunciation proficiency:

(1)   to target articulation, select tongue twisters featuring phonemes that are particularly difficult for your learners, for example if they have trouble making the hard ‘t’ sound, practice tongue twisters that use that particular alliteration.

(2)   to bolster confidence, select tongue twisters featuring phonemes your learners are particularly good at. To really make them laugh, the teacher can recite tongue twisters with phonemes they are bad at.

(3)   to make a game of it, print out a bunch of tongue twisters, cut them into individual strips, put the strips in a basket, have each player draw one, and award points based on how few repetitions are needed to master it.

(4)   to work on speed, add a stopwatch to the game and make the player who can recite the twister correctly in the shortest time the winner of each round.

(5)   to motivate your learners, use tongue twisters as “Get Out of Time-Out Free” cards; if your learners can recite one correctly, they are sprung.

Likewise, similar techniques were actively involved in the third remedial lesson. It was obvious that the students had fun with the tongue twisters provided. The classroom was full of laughter and shouts as the students were trying to get the tongue twisters right. Finally, after individual and choir practices along with the recorded samples, they could get the tricky tongue twisters right in their pronunciations. Later, in order to make sure that the students would come up with better results, the researcher applied reading texts in the last meeting on March 24, 2014. The students were once again aware of the both voiced and voiceless “th” consonants seeing their differences with the words which are pronounced with a near articulation in oral speech. The reading text activity was rather complex and therefore the researcher decided to use it as the last activity before the final recording. The reading text gave the students the opportunity to work on their pronunciation as a whole because the texts did not only contain the target “th” sounds but also other consonants with a near place of articulation and therefore mispronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ would make them unintelligible. At this stage it was extremely important to provide the students with an appropriate and constructive feedback. Since as stated earlier, students were not able to assess their pronunciation. The inability to assess their pronunciation could lead to wrong assumptions about their pronunciation. Those wrong assumptions could make their speech unintelligible for a listener. The main aims of the activity were to revise pronunciation of the target “th” consonants and get used to their production.

All the pronunciation drilling activities applied through the remedial lessons finally proved their efficiency in at least one cycle without the necessity for proceeding to the next cycle. In the preliminary study, the subjetcs’ pronunciation of the two voiced and voiceless “th” consonants lacked intelligibility; however, after they had been exposed to interactive and interesting drilling activities, they have achieved better results and could meet the success criterion set by the researcher. The students were enthusiastic showing an exceptional interest and encouragement toward improving their pronunciation with the researcher and they did their utmost to attain intelligibility in their speeches. It is important to mention that the student 5 had the most unintelligible pronunciation of the both “th” sounds since the beginning of the study. Nevertheless, she came up with the best result by the final recording.



The final thesis has chiefly dealt with the improvement and correction of “th”consonants pronunciation that contribute to the intelligibility of non-native students of English, distinctively, the somphomores of the speaking class at the department of English, State University of Malang.

In the theoretical part, namely in the 1st chapter features of pronunciation and the potentially problematic sounds for the Indonesian learners of English were outlined in general. In this part, the researcher also inquires about the reasons for teaching pronunciation and how intelligibility of learners is important in everyday communication. Furthermore,since pronunciation teaching is still being neglected and for some reasons it is normally pushed to the margins of the language teaching, teachers’ and students’ rolesare also presented in the theoretical part. Moreover, the part presents factors that influence pronunciation acquisition. Lastly, attention was paid to the intelligible production of “th” consonants and characteristic features of them were thoroughly outlined.

In the practical part, however,the researcher aimed to present the actual research on improving and correcting the sophomores’ pronunciation of “th” sounds. In order to prove that the initial assumptions and the research questions were correct the researcher asked all the 25 subjects to undergo three recordings. The first recording proved the initial assumptions to be right since the students were not able to pronounce “th” consonants correctly.

On the basis of the finding from the first recording in the preliminary study, the researcher framed various pronunciation activities aimed at “th” consonants practice. During the pronunciation activities the students were introduced to the production of “th”consonants and exposed to pronunciation practice of them through the application of pronunciation drills. Then the students were recorded again to enable the researcher to compare the first and second recordings together. At this stage of the research the researcher focused on how “th”consonants were pronounced and if they were mispronounced which consonants were used instead. After the second recording, the students worked on other pronunciation practice activities and then they were recorded for the last time. Subsequently, the researcher compared all three recordings together in order to answer the research questions. On the basis of the results from the analysis of the recordings,the initial assumption was proved wrong; on the other hand, the research questions whether the sophomore undergraduates of the English department, State University of Malang were able to improve their pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ consonants and if those sophomores of the English department, State University of Malang achieve faultless pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/consonants were in fact proved right. Since the students’ pronunciation of the both /θ/ and /ð/ was successfully corrected, the researcher decided to draw a conclusion within one cycle only.

Nevertheless, the findings from the research demonstrate that factors influencing pronunciation acquisition, such as age of the students or the mother tongue do play an important role in pronunciation learning process.On the other hand, systematic and continual work on pronunciation can help learners to become more intelligible.

To conclude, assessing the students’ pronunciation turned to be the most complicated and demanding part of the research since the researcher found it to be very difficult to set which sounds can still be considered as correct and which cannot. However, in this case, the researcher addressed the trusted speaking dictionaries in order to make the evaluation substantially fair.



Having the present opportunity, the researcher would like to address the English teachers, students, as well as the schools in Indonesia with certain suggestions which could be drawn from the current research. The preliminary study results of the present research gave the researcher less positive impressions. Although the University students majoring in English were in their 4th semester of study their pronunciation intelligibility was still under the common standards.

According to a number of scholarly sources that are mostly introduced in the theoretical part, pronunciation intelligibility of a non-native speaker of English is crucially important in making comprehensible communications. Since pronunciation is a complex and important part of learning and teaching process teachers need to set goals and aims they want to achieve with their students. As perfect accents are difficult if not impossible to achieve in foreign language(Ur, 1984) the goal of teachers should be making their students be easily understandable when communicating with other people. The speaking class teachers would better pay more attention to the practice of individual English sounds with which most of their students seem like experiencing difficulty in pronunciation. Even though several linguists argue that the pronunciation drilling techniques are rather old-fashioned method of teaching pronunciation, based on the results of the present study, however, the researcher believes that this technique is at least useful in teaching individual sounds. Therefore, the speaking class teachers have to apply more pronunciation drilling activities in order enable their students achieve an intelligible English pronunciation. The language teachers have to improve their own pronunciations first as their students see them as models from whom they learn correct pronunciation.

Likewise, the students are also suggested to be more aware of their speech intelligibility in the English language. Once they are aware, they would be willing to exercise more and gradually improve their pronunciation through constant practicing the difficult sounds like “th” consonants which were the focal issue of the present research. Additionally, the students need to be aware of their academic and social future considering English to be an international language. Once they have rather intelligible command of English, they would stand out among their fellow workers and achieve more than anyone with unintelligible speech in the English language. In order to achieve this, they need to be exposed to regular pronunciation practice at schools.

Lastly but most importantly, the schools as well as their curricula are equally responsible factors which can greatly contribute to the spoken English language intelligibility level of their students. The Indonesian schools have to include more speaking classes in their curricula in order to enable the students to achieve more intelligible English pronunciation at an early age when they are still more motivated and encouraged to learn and discover. Additionally, more similar researches need to be undertaken on the English pronunciation and its intelligibility issues in the Indonesian context and contribute to the development of teaching and learning process of the English language in the country. The future researchers are suggested to feel free to make use of the present research findings and investigate more and deeper in the similar fields.



Abercrombie, D. (1991). Teaching pronunciation. In A. Brown (ed.), Teaching English Pronunciation: A Book of Readings.New York: Routledge.

Avery, P., & Ehrlich, S. (1995). Teaching American English Pronunciation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ball, M.J., & Rahilly, J. (1999). Phonetics: The Science of Speech. London: Hodder Education.

Baker, A. (1981). Ship or Sheep? An International Pronunciation Course. London: Collins.

Baker, A. (2006). Ship or Sheep? An Intermediate Pronunciation Course. (ThirdEdition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Baker, A., & Goldstein, S. (2008). Pronunciation PairsAn Introduction to the Sounds of English.(Second Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge UniversityPress.

Blair, D., Collins, P., Fromkin, V. (2000). An Introduction to Language. Sydney:

Brook, A. Tongue Twisters. Retrieved from on March 28, 2014.

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, G., & Goodwin, J. (1996) Teaching Pronunciation: A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chan, W., & Li,S. (2000) English and Cantonese Phonology in Contrast:Explaining Cantonese Chinese ESL Learners’ English Pronunciation Problems, Language, Culture and Curriculum. Retrieved from on February 18, 2014.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory. Thousand Oaks,

CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cruttenden, A., (2001) Gimson’s Pronunciation of English, (6th edition). New York:Oxford University Press.

Dalton, C., & Seidlhofer, B. (1994) Pronunciation. Oxford: Oxford University

Derwing, T.M., & Rossiter, M. (2003). The Effects of Pronunciation Instruction on the Accuracy, Fluency, and Complexity of L2 Accented Speech, Applied Language Learning, vol 13, no 1: 15-23.

Duong, T. N. (2009) Mistake or Vietnamese English, VNU Journal of Science,Foreign Languages (25): 41-50.

Elson, N. (1992). Unintelligibility and the ESL learner. In P. Avery & S. Ehrlich, Teaching American English Pronunciation. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Fraser, H. (2001) Teaching Pronunciation: A Handbook for Teachers and   Trainers. Retrieved from on February 16, 2014.

Fromkin, V., & Rodman, R. (1993). An Introduction to Language. (Fifth Edition). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Gilbert, J. B. (2008) Teaching Pronunciation: Using the Prosody Pyramid. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hansen, D. (1995). A study of the effect of the acculturation model on second language acquisition. in Eckman, P. Second Language Acquisition:Theory and Pedagogy. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Hewings, M. (2004) Pronunciation Practice Activities: AResource Book for Teaching English Pronunciation, Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Jones,H. (2002). Beyond Listen and Repeat: Pronunciation teaching materialsand theories of second language acquisition. In JC Richards and WA Renandya, Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Keating, D. (2013) Common English Language Problems of Indonesian Students. Retrieved from on November 17, 2013.

Kelly, G. (2003) How to Teach Pronunciation. (Second Edition) Edinburgh: Pearson.

Koshy, V. 2005. Action Research for Improving Practice: A Practical Guide. London: Paul Chapman.

Klyhn, J. (1986). International English: Communication is the Name of the Game. TESOL Newsletter, 20(2), pp: 1-6.

Levis, M. (2006) Pronunciation and the Assessment of Spoken Language’ in Spoken English, TESOL, and Applied Linguistics: Challenges for Theory and Practice. New York: Macmillan.

Lewis, M., & Hill, J. (1992) Practical Techniques for Language Teaching. Essex: Commercial Colour.

MacDonald, S. (2002). Pronunciation: Views and Practices of Reluctant Teachers, Prospect online journal, vol 17, no 3, pp: 4-7.

Morley, J. (1991). The Pronunciation Component in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. TESOL Quarterly, 25 (1), pp: 11-16.

Nilsen, D.L.F., and Nilsen, A.P. (1973). Pronunciation Contrasts in English.New    York: Regents.

Nguyen, T. (2007) Vietnamese Learners’ Difficulties When Pronouncing Some English Sounds. Thesis.

O’ Connor, J. D. (1980) Better Pronunciation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Patton, M. (1987). How to Use Qualitative Methods in Evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rajadurai, J. (2001). An Investigation of the Effectiveness of Teaching Pronunciation to Malaysian TESL Students. Forum, Vol39 No 3, July, September. Retrieved on 19 February, 2014, from

Riswanto & Haryanto, E. (2012). Improving Students’ Pronunciation through Communicative Drilling Technique at Senior High School (SMA) 07 South Bengkulu, Indonesia. Retrieved from International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 2 No.21.

River, M., & Temperly,S. (1978), A Practical Guide to the Teaching of English as a Second or Foreign Language, the Oxford: Oxford UniversityPress.

Schmid, M., & Yeni-Komshian, H. (1999). The Effects of Speaker Accent and Target Predictability on Perception of Mispronunciations, Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, vol 42, no 1.

Scrivener, J. (2005) Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching. Oxford: Macmillan.

Shafiro, V., Levy, E., Khamis-Dakwar, R., Kharkhurin, A.,Perceptual Confusions of American English Vowels and Consonants by Native Arabic Bilinguals. Retrieved from www.las.sagepub.comon 23 May, 2014.

Tice, J. (2004). Online BBC English Language Teaching Journal published on 18 October, 2004. Retrieved: December 27, 2013.

To,H., Nguyen,H.,Nguyen., & Luong,T.(2006) ELT Methodology I, Course Book. Hanoi: Cartographic.

Tran, T. P. (2006) Use of Continuous Feedback toImprove the First Year Students’ English Pronunciation at the English Department, College of Foreign Languages, Vietnam National University. Thesis.

Underhill, A. (1994). Sound Foundations: Living Phonology. Oxford: Macmillan.

Ur, P. (1984) A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Vu, T. (2008) Techniques to Improve the Pronunciation of English  Sounds for 2nd-Year Students. Hanoi: Cartographic.


Makna Angka 6 dalam Perspektif Orang Sabu “Suatu Studi Semiotika Bilangan”

oleh: Hentji Kadja , Felysianus Sanga dan Marselus Robot
Universitas Nusa Cendana Kupang



Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk memperoleh deskripsi yang sistematis dan lengkap mengenai makna angka 6 dalam perspektif orang Sabu. Teori analisis wacana kritis dan hermeneutika digunakan untuk memahami makna bilangan 6 dalam bilangan tradisi, serta teori semiotika Pierce dan Barthes. Metode deskriptif kualitatif digunakan untuk mendeskripsikan makna bilangan bilangan tradisi.Berdasarkian hasil analisis semiosis Pierce dan Barthes yang dilakukan peneliti ditemukan bahwa, perspektif orang Sabu angka 6 merupakan bilangan pembagian kekuasaan wilayah secara adil, dan persekutuan kekeluargaan dan persaudaraan dalam semangat jiwa yang murni. Makna bilangan 6 tradisi adalah seorang manusia menggunakan kekuasaan secara adil dalam semangat persekutuan kekeluargaan dan persaudaraan dalam jiwa yang murni, bila diulangi tiga kali akan menunjukkan sifat egoisme dan penonjolan diri yang serakah akan kekuasaan. Pada akhirnya disimpulkan bahwa orang Sabu memandang bilangan 6 sebagai bilangan kekuasaan adalah “manusia sebagai makhluk yang mulia diberi kekuasaan yang terbatas untuk mengatur alam semesta ini”.

 Kata Kunci : Makna Angka, Bilangan Tradisi , Semiotik, Kekuasaan, dan Keserakahan


 This study aims to gain a complete and systematic description about meaning of number 6 based on Savuness perception. Theory of Critical Discourse Analysis and Hermeneutics are assessed to understand meaning of number 6 based on Savuness perception, as well as semiotics theory of Pierce and Barthes. Descriptive qualitative method is assessed to describe meaning of tradition number. Based on the Pierce and Barthes semiotics analysis done researcher. Found that perspective of Savuness, 6 is a number for dividing equitable power area, and it also has a meaning of brothership federation in pure soul spirit. The meaning of number 6, traditionally is a number of a human who use his power in justice for brother ship federation in a pure soul spirit. When this number is repeated three times, will show a greedy character and egoism of power. Finally, it is concluded that Savuness percept number 6 in as an authority number, is “human as honorable creature was given limited authority to organize this universe”.

 Keyword: Meaning of Number, Hermeneutics, Semiotics, Power, and Greed




Pythagoras (memandang alam berkaitan erat dengan matematika sedangkan segala sesuatu di dalamnya adalah angka. Angka memiliki makna yang khusus dan memiliki pengaruh dalam kehidupan manusia, karena mereka percaya adanya kekuatan baik dan buruk. Dengan mengonversikan setiap unsur alam menjadi angka maka keteraturan dan sifat alam serta fenomena yang terjadi dapat dipahami. Pythagoras berpendapat bahwa segala sesuatu adalah bilangan-bilangan. Betapa pun luasnya alam semesta ini, unsur-unsur dan setiap perubahan di dalamnya dapat ditentukan dengan satuan-satuan bilangan. Sebagai percobaan, Pythagoras menggunakan dawai mono chord (dawai yang memiliki senar tunggal). Setiap perubahan panjang senar dengan perbandingan yang tetap (1:2; 2:3; 3:4) menghasilkan nada berbeda untuk setiap perbandingan, namun kedengarannya sangat harmonis. Keempat bilangan (satu, dua, tiga, dan empat) atau keempat angka (1, 2, 3, dan 4) disebut tetraktus, dan dianggap suci oleh kaum Pythagorean. Menurut mereka, setiap perubahan di alam semesta ini dapat dicocokkan dengan kategori-kategori matematis. Suara dawai dengan ukuran-ukuran tertentu dapat dikatakan dalam bilangan atau angka. Setiap perubahan yang terjadi di alam semesta ini dapat dinyatakan dengan bilangan-bilangan atau angka-angka (Netty 2012: ix – x)

Bilangan sepuluh, atau angka 10, sudah dianggap sebagai bilangan, atau angka sempurna, yang didapat dengan menjumlahkan 4 angka yang pertama dikenal manusia, yaitu angka 1,2,3, dan 4, yang bersama disebut tetraktus. Pada zaman Pythagoras, orang sudah mengenal planet-planet yang berjumlah 9 (Mercury, Venus, Bumi, Mars, Jupiter, Saturnus, Uranus, Neptunus, Pluto) yang dihisabkan lagi “bola api” (matahari) ke dalamnya sehingga menjadi 10 siarah. Demikianlah orang mengenal bilangan pokok yang dilambangkan dengan angka-angka 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, dan 10 sebagai bilangan yang sempurna menurut Pythagoras (Syahrul: 2012). Dapat disimpulkan secara simbolik segala sesuatu yang terjadi di alam semesta ini memiliki keteraturan dan mempengaruhi kehidupan manusia.

Misteri atau makna angka dijumpai pula dalam masyarakat Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT). Masyrakat NTT yang multi etnis juga mengenal angka berkaitan dengan alam semesta, kelahiran dan sifat serta karakter manusia. Di NTT terdapat 45 sistem bilangan basis yang tersebar dan dapat dikelompokkan dalam 6 kelompok sosial berdasarkan jumlah bilangan pokok yakni: (1) kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 10. (2) Kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 9. (3) Kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 8. (4) Kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 7. (5) Kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 6. (6) Kelompok yang memiliki bilangan pokok 1 sampai 5. (Sanga: 1996) Masyarakat Sabu juga mengenal jumlah bilangan.

Masyarakat Sabu dikenal dengan orang Sabu yang tersebar di Kabupaten Sabu Raijua, Kabupaten Kupang, Kota Kupang, Sumba, dan daerah lainnya di NTT. Mereka hidup secara berkelompok dalam suatu wilayah tertentu. Istilah Sabu adalah istilah nama yang lazim dipakai secara umum oleh masyarakat Sabu, sedangkan istilah Sawu merujuk pada satu konsep yang sama. Kedua istilah ini dipakai dengan istilah Sabu karena sesuai kelaziman masyarakat menyebutnya.

Sanga (1996: 21)[2] mendeskripsikan kelompok etnis Sabu memiliki jumlah bilangan pokoknya sembilan. Dalam kepercayaan Jingitiu[3] dikenal Penguasa tertinggi bagi mereka hanya satu yang dinamakanDeo AmaatauDeo Muri Mara(=Tuhan yang ada dengan sendirinya). Sapaan tradisional untuk penguasa tertinggi itu adalah:

Deo do manga pa do keale, deo do pe pa kolo ngalhu =
Tuhan yang berdiam di tempat yang tidak pasti, tempat di mana Tuhan dapat mengawasi seluruh alam semesta ini, bukan di langit, bukan di bumi, melainkan di atas angin.

Dalam keyakinan Jingitiu, diakui enam langkah penciptaan oleh Deo Ama: (1) Mula-mula Tuhan menjadikan alam semesta; (2) Dengan bahan dari alam semesta Tuhan menciptakan Ai Deo (air Tuhan); (3) Dari Ai Deo terbentuklah Ra Ai (darah air); (4) Dari Ra Ai terbentuklah Woro Ra (buih darah); (5) Woro Ra membentuk Ai Woro (air buih); (6) Dengan Ai Woro inilah Tuhan membentuk manusia (Sanga 1996 ).

Berdasarkan uraian diatas penulis tertarik untuk membahas makna angka 6 dalam perspektif orang Sabu dalam kaitannya dengan kitab Wahyu. Jika demikian penulis berpendapat: Makna Angka 666 akan mudah diterima masyarakat etnis Sabu, apabila filosofis makna bilangan tradisi dipahami oleh masyarakat etnis Sabu.

Berdasarkan latar belakang di atas, masalahyang diangkat dalam tulisan ini adalah makna apakah yang terkandung melalui penggunaan simbolik permainan angka 6?,dalam pandangan masyarakat etnis Sabu?. Bertujuan untuk memperoleh deskripsi yang sistematis dan lengkap mengenai makna angka 666 dalam perspektif orang Sabu. Serta bermanfaat dapatmemberikan pemahaman yang tepat mengenai variasi angka 666serta kaitannya dengan kepercayaan dan keyakinan masyarakat etnis Sabu.

Kajian Teori


Secara etimologis Hermeneutik berasal dari kata Yunani: Hermeneuein yang berarti menafsirkan. Istilah hermeneutik mencakup dua hal, yaitu seni dan teori tentang pemahaman dan penafsiran terhadap simbol-simbol baik yang kebahasaan maupun yang nonkebahasaan. Paul Ricoeur dari latar belakang pandangan katholik, definisi yang pasti tentang hermeneutik adalah teori pengoperasian pemahaman dalam hubungannya dengan interpretasi terhadap teks (Ricoeur, 1985:43).Setiap kata merupakan sebuah simbol yang penuh dengan makna dan intensi yang tersembunyi.Jadi tidaklah heran jika menurut Riceour tujuan hermeneutik adalah menghilangkan misteri yang terdapat dalam sebuah simbol dengan cara membuka selubung daya-daya yang belum diketahui dan tersembunyi di dalam simbol-simbol tersebut (Montifiore, 1983:192)Ada tiga langkah pemahaman menurut Ricoeur, yaitu yang berlangsung dari penghayatan atas simbol-simbol ke gagasan tentang ‘berpikir dari’ simbol-simbol.Pemahaman pada dasarnya adalah ‘cara berada’ (mode of being) atau ‘cara menjadi’ hanya bisa terjadi pada tingkat pengetahuan yaitu pada teori tentang pengetahuan atau Erkenntnistheorie yakni: 1)Pemahaman dari simbol ke simbol,2)Pemberian makna oleh simbol serta penggalian yang cermat atas makna,3)Langkah yang benar-benar filosofis yaitu berpikir dengan menggunakan simbol sebagai titik tolaknya.Pemahaman yang pada dasarnya adalah ‘cara berada’ (mode of being) atau ‘cara menjadi’ hanya bisa terjadi pada tingkat pengetahuan yaitupadateori tentang pengetahuan atau Erkenntnistheorie.


Secara terminologis, semiotik adalah cabang ilmu yang berurusan dengan dengan pengkajian tanda dan segala sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan tanda, seperti sistem tanda dan proses yang berlaku bagi tanda (van Zoest, 1993:1). Semiotik adalah studi yang tidak hanya merujuk pada tanda (signs) dalam percakapan sehari -hari, tetapi juga segala sesuatu yang merujuk pada bentuk-bentuk lain seperti words,images, sounds, gesture, dan objects. Sementara de Saussure menyebut ilmu ini dengan semiologi yakni sebuah studi tentang aturan tanda –tanda sebagai bagian dari kehidupan sosial (a science which studies the role of signs as a part of social life). Bagi Peirce (1931), semiotics was formal doctrine of signs which was closely related to logic. Tanda menurut Peirce adalah something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. Kemudian ia juga mengatakan bahwa every thought is a sign. Van Zoest (1993) memberikan lima ciri dari tanda. Pertama, tanda harus dapat diamati agar dapat berfungsi sebagai tanda. Kedua, tanda harus ‘bisa ditangkap’ merupakan syarat mutlak. Ketiga, merujuk pada sesuatu yang lain, sesuatu yang tidak hadir. Keempat, tanda memiliki sifat representatif dan sifat ini mempunyai hubungan langsung dengan sifat inter-pretatif. Kelima, sesuatu hanya dapat merupakan tanda atas dasar satu dan lain. Peirce menyebutnya dengan ground (dasar, latar) dari tanda.

Model tanda dikemukakan Peirce (dalam Hoed, 2002:21) adalah trikotomis atau triadik, dan tidak memiliki ciri-ciri struktural sama sekali. Prinsip dasarnya adalah bahwa tanda bersifat reprsentatif yaitu tanda adalah sesuatu yang mewakili sesuatu yang lain (something that represent ssomething else). Proses pemaknaan tanda pada Peirce mengikuti hubungan antara tiga titik yaitu representamen (R) – Object (O) – Interpretant (I). R adalah bagian tanda yang dapat dipersepsi secara fisik atau mental, yang merujuk pada sesuatu yang diwakili olehnya (O). Kemudian I adalah bagian dari proses yang menafsirkan hubungan antara R dan O. Oleh karena itu bagi Pierce, tanda tidak hanya representatif, tetapi juga interpretattif. Teori Peirce tentang tanda memperlihatkan pemaknaan tanda sebagai suatu proses kognitif dan bukan sebuah struktur. Peirce membedakan tanda menjadi tiga yaitu indeks, ikon dan simbol. Model Peirce tentang unsur makna tersebut dapat digambarkan sebagai berikut :


Gambar diagram Proses Semiosis dari Peirce

(Hoed 2011:199 dalam Suratmonto 2012 : 166)

Bagaimanakah hubungan ikon, indeks dan simbol? Seperti yang dicontohkan Hoed (2002:25), apabila dalam perjalanan pulang dari luar kota seseorang melihat asap mengepul di kejauhan, maka ia melihat R. Apa yang dilihatnya itu membuatnya merujuk pada sumber asap itu yaitu cerobong pabrik (O). Setelah itu ia menafsirkan bahwa ia sudah mendekati sebuah pabrik ban mobil. Tanda seperti itu disebut indeks, yakni hubungan antara R dan O bersifat langsung dan terkadang kausal. Peirce juga mengemukakan bahwa pemaknaan suatu tanda ada tahap kepertamaan (firstness) yakni saat tanda dikenali pada tahap awal secara prinsip saja. Firstness adalah keberadaan seperti apa adanya tanpa menunjuk ke sesuatu yang lain, keberadaan dari kemungkinan yang potensial. Kemudian tahap ‘keduaan’ (secondness) saat tanda dimaknai secara individual, dan kemudian ‘keketigaan’ (thirdness) saat tanda dimaknai secara tetap sebagai kovensi. Konsep tiga tahap ini penting untuk memahami bahwa dalam suatu kebudayaan kadarpemahaman tanda tidak sama pada semua anggota kebudayaan tersebut.

Barthes (1915-1980) mengatakan komponen-komponen tanda penanda-petanda terdapat juga pada tanda-tanda bukan bahasa antara lain terdapat pada bentuk mite yakni keseluruhan sistem citra dan kepercayaan yang dibentuk masyarakat untuk mempertahankan dan menonjolkan identitasnya (de Saussure,1988). Dengan menggunakan teori signifiant signifie yang dikembangkan menjadi teori tentang metabahasa dan konotasi. Istilah signifiant menjadi ekspresi(E) dan signifie menjadi isi (C). Antara E dan C harus ada relasi (R) tertentu, sehingga membentuk tanda (sign). Konsep relasi ini membuat teori tentang tanda lebih mungkin berkembang karena relasi ditetapkan oleh pemakai tanda.Ekspresi dapat berkembang dan membentuk tanda baru, sehingga ada lebih dari satu dengan isi yang sama. Pengembangan ini disebut sebagai gejala metabahasa dan membentuk apa yang disebut kesinoniman (synonymy).Setiap tanda selalu memperoleh pemaknaan awal yang dikenal dengan dengan istilah denotasi atau sistem primer. Kemudian pengembangannya disebut sistem sekunder. Sistem sekunder ke arah ekspresi disebut metabahasa. Sistem sekunder ke arah isi disebut konotasi yaitu pengembangan isi sebuah ekspresi. Konsep konotasi ini tentunya didasari tidak hanya oleh paham kognisi, melainkan juga oleh paham pragmatik yakni pemakai tanda dan situasi pemahamannya. Dalam kaitan dengan pemakai tanda, kita juga dapat memasukkan perasaan sebagai (aspek emotif) sebagai salah satu faktor yang membentuk konotasi.


Asal Usul Orang Sabu

Ada begitu banyak versi dan cerita yang dituturkan oleh para tua-tua adat tentang asal mulanya pulau Sabu dan riwayat awal terbentuknya masyarakat Sabu. Terdapat indikasi kuat bahwa orang Sabu berasal dari rumpun bangsa Melayu yang besar dari Hindia (Asia Selatan) yang beremigrasi sekitar tahun 500 BC[4].Riwu Kaho[5] menulis ada tiga gelombang imigrasi yang datang ke Indonesia. Gelombang pertama berasal dari Asia Selatan, mereka tiba di Indonesia pada tahun 2000 SM dan menyebar sampai ke Sabu. Gelombang kedua dari daerah Yunan dan wilayah Timur Laut Indo Cina tiba di Indonesia pada tahun 500 SM dan menyebar sampai ke Sabu. Gelombang ketiga berasal dari India Selatan dan tiba di Nusantara pada abad ke-2 SM.

Ada dua[6] kisah yang menceritakan tentang asal usul orang Sabu. Adapun asal usul tersebut sebagai berikut: Pertama[7], Dari syair-syair kuno dalam bahasa Sabu dapat diperoleh informasi sejarah mengenai negeri asal dari leluhur Sabu. Syair-syair itu mengungkapkan bahwa negeri asal orang Sabu terletak sangat jauh di seberang laut di sebelah Barat yang bernama Hura. Dalam peta India memang terdapat Kota Surat di Wilayah Gujarat, India Selatan. Kota Surat terletak di sebelah Kota Bombay, teluk Cambay, India Selatan. Daerah Gujarat pada waktu itu sudah di kenal di mana-mana sebagai pusat perdagangan di India Selatan.Para pendatang dari Gujarat ini ketika tiba di pula Raijua dapat hidup bersama dengan para imigran yang berasal dari perpindahan penduduk gelombang kedua, kemudian berasimilasi dengan imigran gelombang pertama, meskipun pengaruh mereka tampak dominan.  Rombongan India Selatan menjadi penghuni pertama pulau Raijua di bawah pimpinan Kika Ga. Setelah kawin-mawin, mereka menyebar di pulau Sabu dan Raijua, yang kemudian menjadi cikal bakal orang Sabu.

Kedua[8], Masyarakat sabu berasal dari leluhur Hawu Ga (KIka Ga) dan menurut hikayatnya orang Sabu berasal dari Surat (orang sabu melafalkannya dengan kata Hura), suatu tempat orang Hindia pada pantai Utara Bombay. Hawu Ga adalah salah satu anggota keluarga Lou yang mengembara dari negerinya (Hina Jawa Kepue) dan tiba di Raijua / Jawa Wawa. Ia mempunyai tiga orang saudara laki-laki dan seorang perempuan masing-masing bernama Lobo Ga, Laga Ga, Jape Ga, dan Mere Ga.Kemudian mereka dari Jawa Wawa meneruskan perjalanan menuju arah Timur, tiba di suatu tempat bernama Sasar yang di sebut Haha (Haha adalah Tanjung Sasar di pulau Sumba) dan mereka bermukim di sana. LaluHawu Ga (Kika Ga) meneruskan perjalannya lagi ke arah Timur, dari Hina Jawa Kepue tiba di Wadu Mea (Liae).Di atas batu karang ini ia mendapati Luji Liruanak dari Liru Ballasedang memancing ikan, karena lapar ia meminta ikan kepada Luji Liru. Luji Liru pun memberinya seekor ikan. Sesudah itu Luji Liru kembali ke langit dan setibanya di langit, ayahnya bertanya: “mana ikan perolehanmu hari ini?” Luji Liru menjawab: “saya telah berikan kepada seseorang yang tiba-tiba saja muncul di tempat saya memancing.” Kemudian ayahnya berkata lagi. “yang minta itu bukan orang lain. Ia adalah saudaramu sendiri. Bila besok kamu pergi memancing lagi, bawalah dia kemari”. Keesokan harinya Luji Liru pergi memancing di tempat itu dan ternyata Hawu Ga (Kika Ga) masih berada disana. Luji Liru pun menyampaikan pesan ayahnya supaya ia harus ikut ke langit. Ia kembali ke dunia dan dibekali dengan janji atau perintah Tuhan yang harus dijalankannya kelak dalam kehidupan manusia.

Setelah Kika Ga turun dari langit di Wadu Meakemudian bermukim di Merab’bu. Melihat Rai Hawu dalam keadaan yang seperti semula, maka dalam sekejap mata Luji Liruberubah bentuk menjadi seekor burung elang. Ia terbang ke Jawa Wawa (Raijua) untuk mencuri tanah dari kolong rumah Mone Weo. Tiba Jawa Wawa, secara diam-diam ia menggali tanah dari bawah kolong rumah Mone Weo dan dibawahnya tanah tersebut, kemudian dihamburkan dan dalam sekejap mata Rai Hawu terbentuk seperti sekarang ini.Kika Ga bersahabat dengan Maja dan Mone Weo dari Jawa Wawa. ‘Dara Rai yang di bawa oleh Kika Ga dijadikan sebagai dasar atau fondasi bagi Rai Hawu dan Jawa Wawa. Berdasarkan ‘Dara Rai itu, maka Rai Hawu dan Jawa wawa disebut Rai Do Dare Do Kewah’hu (tanah yang sudah dijanjikan). ‘Dara rai (janji atau dasar) dijadikan sebagai pedoman upacara adat yang tidak boleh di langgar.

 Sistem Hierarki Orang Sabu

Pemerintahan tradisi Orang Sabu dipegang oleh Mone Ama, Mone Ama tiap-tiap udu berbeda. Tugas dan tanggung jawab Mone Ama[9]: Deo Rai, sebagai pemimpin upacara tertinggi, bertanggung jawab atas penyelenggaran upacara di musim hujan.Pulod’do Wadu, memimpin upacara dimusim kemarau, membuka hallu aijji bersama Deo Rai dan Rue.Doheleo, memantau dan mengawasi hal penegakan adat dan penyelenggaraan upacara agama, mengkaji dan mencermati akan semua gejala alam, peristiwa, wabah penyakit, bencana alam, gagal panen dan lain sebagainya yang mengganggu kesejahteraan hidup masyarakat, kalau-kalau disebabkan karena adanya pelanggaran terhadap syariat agama dan adatistiadat oleh masyarakat. Sekaligus mengadakan upacara doamohon pengampunan pada Deo Ama atau menolak bala dan kekuatan negatif ke laut.Rue, memimpin upacara pentahiran diri dari segala musibah dan aib. Ini dipegang oleh warga kelompok Rue, yaitu Rue Ae dan Rue Iki bertanggung jawab atas upacara bagi bertunasnya mayang lontar. Pulodd’o dahi, bertanggungjawab atas upacara yang berkaitan dengan laut. Pulodd’o muhu, bertanggungjawab atas penelenggaraan upacara berkaitan dengan peperangan yang juga dikaitkan dengan sabung ayam. Melakukan upacara penatta nada ae dan menyembeli hewan babi dan anjing untuk dipersembahkan di suatu tempat bernama Uju, bersama kehune.Raga Dimu, bertugas untuk melakukan upacara ritual menangkal angin timur pada musim kemarau yang ada hubungan dengan masa transisi dari angin barat ke timur dan juga memanggil hujan turun.Dou Ae / Banggu Udu, bertugas untuk memelihara persekutuan di antara warga udu, memelihara kerukunan dan ketertiban hidup, membagi tanah udu kepada warga udu untuk digarap dan mengawasi agar tanah udu tidak sampai jatuh ke tangan udu lain serta menegakkan syariat agama.

Upacara –upacara tradisi

Kalender Adat[10] dan Upacara menurut Siklus Kehidupan Orang Sabu.
Tidak ada satupun aktivitas hidup orang Sabu selama satu tahun kalender yang dapat terpisah dari kehidupan keagamaan. Hal tersebut merupakan syarat agama sekaligus merupakan adat orang Sabu, terutama bagi mereka masih menganut agama asli. Dalam penyelenggaraan pemenuhan 9 amanat ini maka pelaksanaannya tidak telepas kaitannya dengan kalender kegiatan tahunan[11]. Pelaksanaan 9 Amanat Deo:Puru Hogo; diadakan pada bulan Kelila Wadu, saat akan dimulainya kegiatan iris tuak & dan masak gula yang merupakan salah satu bahan makanan pokok orang Sabu.Baga Rae; diadakan pada akhir bulan Baga Rae, dengan tujuan; Sebagai tanda akhir dari kegiatan iris tuak dan masak gula. Menyumbat mulut tanah agar jangan menelan korban. Mengecek tentang curah hujan pada musim penghujan yang akan datang. Memagari daerah agar terhindar dari musuh dan malapetaka. Mempererat tali persaudaraan antara warga Udu dan Kerogo.Jelli Ma; diadakan pada bulan Ko’o Ma sebagai upacara membersihkan kebun.Hanga Dimu; diadakan pada bulan Hanga Dimu, yakni Deo Rai dan Pululodo memulai panen kacang hijau dilanjutkan dengan acara Nga’a Hanga Dimu. Setelah itu baru warga boleh memulai panen kacang hijau.Daba; dalam daur hidup dikenal tahap; metana (lahir), pe wie ngara (pemberian nama), hapo (pengakuan tentang sahnya anak), daba (baptis), leko wue (belajar memakai pakaian), bagga (sunat), Atta Ngutu (potong gigi) dan peloko nga’a (perkawinan) serta made (kematian). Daba merupakan rangkaian acara yang dilaksanakan pada hari ketiga setelah panen sorgum dan pesta pado’a.Daba diadakan pada bulan Daba Akki.Banga Liwu; diadakan pada bulan Banga Liwu (malam ke 9 dari bulan baru). Dalam rangkai upacara tersebut bertujuan untuk: Mendinginkan obyek-obyek seperti kebun kapas, kebun kelapa, pinang dan kandang ternak. Penghormatan terhadap arwah leluhur dengan membawa sirih pinang ke pekuburan leluhur dan malamnya diadakan “Pedo’a bui ihi”.Hole; dilakukan pada hari ke 7 setelah purnama pada bulan Banga Liwu. Salah satu tujuannya adalah melepaskan celaka ke laut serta menutup mulut laut agar hasil yang dari darat jangan terhisap atau tertelan ke dalam laut. Atau dapat dikatakan dengan istilah buang sial.Hapo; merupakan acara pengakuan terhadap anak yang dilahirkan.Made; upacara yang bersangkutan dengan kematian.

Sistem Kepercayaan Agama Suku Sabu

Orang Sabu Pecaya pada satu Zat Ilahi yang disapa dengan:“Deo Ama” (Allah Bapa asal dari segala sesuatu), “Deo Woro Deo Penynyi” (Tuhan pencipta semesta)“Deo Mone Ae” (Tuhan Maha Kuasa/ Maha Agung). “Deo Muri Mara” (Tuhan yang ada pada dirinya sendiri atau ada dengan sendirinya)“Deo Wata I’a” (Tuhan pengasih dan penyayang)“Deo Mone Higa” ( Tuhan yang Maha Kuasa)“Deo do Ketutu Kelodo” (Tuhan yang Kekal)“Deo Mone Wie” (Tuhan sang pemberi dan Pemelihara), Segala ciptaan terdiri dari 2 unsur yang esensial, mengandung daya yang saling bertentangan, bergantungan, dan saling melengkapi. Contohnya laki-laki dan perempuan. Keduanya adalah setara dengan masing-masing fungsi yang saling melengkapi. Sehingga dalam kehidupan orang Sabu, laki-laki dan perempuan selalu dilihat sebagai suatu kesetaraan. Manusia harus selalu menjaga hubungan atau relasi yang baik dengan Tuhan. Jika hubungan itu baik maka disebut dengan “Meringgi” atau dingin yang mendatangkan damai sentosa, mengerru (hijau/kesuburan) dan merede (kelimpahan). Tetapi sebaliknya dan bila terjadi kesalahan atau pelanggaran terhadap aturan atau tatanan yang ada akan mendatangkan hal-hal yang “Pana” (Panas) atau hal-hal yang berupa petaka, bencana. Untuk menjaga Relasi yang harmonis antara Manusia dan Tuhan maka dalam tatanan kehidupan diatur juga tentang ritual-ritual keagaaman, hubungan kekerabatan dan hukum adat.

Nada adalah tempat beribadat bagi penganut agama suku Sabu (Agama Asli). Nada pertama didirikan Kika Ga di Kolo Marabbu (generasi 11, Miha Ngara). Nadaberkembang menjadi dua, yang satu tetap di Merabbu, yang satu di Kolo Teriwu.  Pada masa Wai Waka (generasi 18) diadakan pembagian wilayah dan masing-masing wilayah didirikan Nada.

Angka dalam masyarakat orang Sabu

Orang Sabu mengenal angka dari pembagian wilayah kepada keturunan Wai Waka[12]yakni: Dara Wai, Kole Wai, Laki Wai, Wara Wai, Jaka Wai, dan Waka Wai. Langkah yang ditempuh dalam pembagian wilayah itu didahului dengan upacara doa memohon petunjuk dari Deo Ama (dalam upacara ini WaiWaka[13] menyembeli seekor kerbau dan membaginya dalam enam bagian menurut jumlah anaknya dan meletakkannya di atas dammu kemudian masing-masing mengambil satu bagian). Setelah selesai pembagian wilayah diberikan bobot dalam bentuk angka yang melambangkan talenta masing-masing. Dara Wai mendapat angka 9, Kole Wai mendapat angka 8, Wara Wai mendapat angka 7, Laki Wai mendapat angka 6, Jaka Wai dan Waka Wai mendapat angka 5, sebagai petanda angka yang diperoleh masing-masing anak dapat dilihat pada kacang hijau. Upacara ini diakhiri dengan pesan[14]: (a) Mereka semua harus berpegang teguh pada semangat persaudaraan / kekeluargaan sebab mereka berasal dari satu bapak. (b) Persaudaraan akan terpelihara apabila mereka saling mengasihi satu dengan yang lain, saling menolong dalam suka maupun duka, segala persoalan harus dihadapi bersamadengan jalan musyawarah untuk mufakat bukan dengan perkelahian. (c) Mereka harus tetap setia berbakti kepada Deo Ama, adapun nama Deo Ama tidak dapat diketahui dan disebut oleh siapapun sebab sangat luhur, suci dan keramat.

Angka memiliki peran penting bagi orang Sabu dalam melakukan aktivitas yang berkaitan dengan kehidupan. Karena itu angka (bilangan) selalu tergambar dalam berbagai aktivitas kehidupan masyarakat Sabu baik dalam keseharian maupun dalam ritual dan ritus. Angka (bilangan) tersebut adalah:


Tabel 3

Nama dan jumlah bilangan orang Sabu

Lambang Bahasa Indonesia Bahasa Sabu
1 satu Ahhi / hehi
2 dua Dhu’e
3 tiga Tallu
4 empat Ap’pa
5 lima Lam’mi
6 enam An’na
7 tujuh Pidu
8 delapan Aru
9 sembilan Heo
10 sepuluh Henguru
11 Sebelas Henguru ahhi
12 Dua belas Henguru dhu’e
13 Tiga belas Henguru tallu
14 Empat belas Henguru ap’pa
15 Lima belas Henguru lam’mi
16 Enam belas Henguru an’na
17 Tujuh belas Henguru pidu
18 Delapan belas Henguru aru
19 Sembilan belas Henguru heo
20 Dua puluh Dhu’e nguru


Tabel ini mengiformasikan secara tradisi orang Sabu tidak mempunyai lambang bilangan atau angka, tetapi memiliki jumlah bilangan dengan berbagai sistem pengembangan yang dapat dipelajari. Oleh sebab itu, angka dan nama bilangan bahasa Indonesia dalam tabel ini digunakan hanya sebagai penjelas penamaan terhadap dan jumlah bilangan tradisi yang dimiliki oleh orang Sabu. Bilangan ahhi / hehi (satu) sampai dengan bilangan heo (sembilan) adalah bilangan tradisi. Bilangan ini menjadi dasar bagi masyarakat Sabu untuk mengembangkan bilangan secara kuantitatif maupun kualitatif dalam kehidupan mereka.Pada tabel terlihat bilangan henguru sampai dengan dhu’e nguru merupakan pengembangan dari bilangan tradisi secara kuantitatif. Perlu diketahui kapan terjadi pengembangan ini kapan dan oleh siapa tidak diketahui. Bilangan henguru berasal kata he[hi] yang berarti satu dan nguru yang berarti gugus untuk menyatakan puluh.

Pemakaian Bilangan dalam Masyarakat Sabu

Seperti telah dikemukakan di depan bahwa masyarakat Sabu tidak memiliki lambang bilangan tetapi dalam kehidupan dan komunikasi bilangan banyak di temui. Berdasarkan jumlah bilangan tradisi yang dimiliki, masyarakat Sabu mengembangkannya dalam praktek pemakaian menjadi bilangan satuan dan himpunan.

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Potong

Satuan potong yang dijadikan sebagai patokan ukuran yang dianggap sebagai himpunan dapat dibedakan atas:Atta: adalah potongan dari sebuah benda khususnya untuk daging; misalnya untuk satu potong disebut heatta, Bella : adalah potongan dari sebuah benda khusunya kain tenunan; misalnya untuk satu potong disebut hebella, Lai    : adalah potongan dari sebuah benda khususnya lembaran daun lontar; misalnya untuk satu potong disebut helai. Lada      : adalah potongan dari sebuah benda khususnya lidi daun lontar dan kelapa; misalnya untuk satu potong disebut helada

 Himpunan yang Menyatakan Buah

Kumpulan buahpun dijadikan oleh masyarakat Sabu sebagai lambang bilangan dalam sistem komuniasi mereka. Ekki     : satuan ini digunakan untuk kelapa, lima buah kelapa akan disebut heekki. Ujju : satuan ini digunakan untuk kumpulan yang berjumlah 16 ikat

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Ikat

Ujju: satuan ikatan yang menyatakan satu kumpulan yang terdiri dari 16 ikat. Rao: tanda yang digunakan untuk satuan menyatakan ( 3) ujju. Ku’u manu       : tanda yang digunakan untuk menyatakan ( 9 x 3) rao . Wawi kelila: tanda yang digunakan untuk menyatakan (27 x 7) rao

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Benda Padat

Kabba: ukuran terkecil yang dipakai dalam menakar. Ukuran ini terbuat dari tempurung buah kelapa yang telah dibersihkan daging kelapanya.Tobbo :ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat dengan ukuran lebih besar sedikt dari kabba. Ukuran ini dapat memuat 3 kabba. Kerigi        : ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat denngan ukuran lebih besar dari tobbo. Ketobbu :ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat denngan ukuran lebih besar dari kerigi, Ketanga orru        : ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat denngan ukuran lebih besar dari ketobbu. Hope jamma:ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat denngan ukuran lebih besar dari tobbo. Hope :ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat denngan ukuran lebih besar dari hope jamma.Kedejja:ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat dengan ukuran lebih besar dari hope. Hoka:ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat dengan ukuran lebih besar dari kedejja

Keruku:ukuran ini terbuat dari ayaman daun lontar yang dibuat dengan ukuran lebih besar dari hoka

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Benda Cair

Untuk ukuran tuak:

Haba tenae: ukuran terkecil dari habba yang dipakai untuk menyuguhkan minuman, ukuran ini terbuat dari daun lontar dengan ukuran tiga lidi lembar aun lontar.

Haba lima: ukuran ini dipakai untuk menyadap tuak, ukuran ini terbuat dari daun lontar dengan ukuran lima lidi lembar daun lontar.

Haba dau: ukuran ini dipakai untuk mengumpulkan tuak dari pohon tuak, ukuran ini terbuat dari daun lontar dengan ukuran tujuh lidi lembar daun lontar.

Haba worena: ukuran ini dipakai untuk mengumpulkan tuak yang telah disadap untuk dibawah pulang kerumah. ukuran ini terbuat dari daun lontar dengan ukuran sembilan lidi lembar daun lontar.

Loli: ukuran ini dipakai untuk pikulan tuak yang terdiri dari dua buah haba worena penuh yang dibawah pulang ke rumah

Orru: ukuran ini dipakai untuk tuak yang telah disiap dimasak. Ukuran ini terbuat dari tiga buah peruik, dan apabila akanimasak maka akan disebut herao.

Untuk ukuran gula:

Ketilu : ukuran ini dipakai untuk gula yang akan dipergunakan sehari-sehari, terbuat dari periuk kecil.

Oruboga: ukuran ini dipakai untuk menggumpulkan gula yang telah dimasak, lebih besar sedikit dari ketilu, 3 ketilu satu orruboga.

Orrupelako: ukuran ini dipakai untuk mengumpulkan gula, 3 orruboga satu orupelako.

Orru: ukuran ini dipakai untuk mengumpulkan gula, 3 orrupelako satu orru.

Rubi: ukuran ini dipakai untuk gula yang terdiri dari beberapa orruboga, ukuran inilah yang dipakai untuk penyimpanan persediaan makanan dan juga untuk dijual atau dibarter, 3 orru satu rubi.

Untuk pikulan :

Haba : ukuran pikulan untuk sebuah haba.

loli : ukuran pikulan dengan menggunakan dua buah haba penuh.

Orru: ukuran pikulan untuk tiga loli

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Ukuran Panjang

Egga : ukuran yang menyatakan jengkal, yakni antara ujung ibu jari dan ujung jari tengah.

Emmi : ukuran yang menyatakan satu telapak tangan, yakni antara ujung jari tengah sampai ke pangkal telapak tangan, ukuran ini juga dipakai untuk bentuk genggaman tangan kanan atau kiri, sedangkan untuk dua genggaman tangan disebut ebba.

Kewahhu: ukuran yang menyatakan dari ujung jari tengah sampai ke siku. Hebekka: ukuran yang menyatakan dari ujung jari tengah sampai ke dada. Reppa: ukuran yang menyatakan dari ujung jari tengah kanan sampai ke ujung jari tengah lengan kiri.

Reppa Hekoa : ukuran yang menyatakan hereppa ditambah dari ujung jari tengah kanan sampai ke siku lengan kiri.

Reppa Hetenga : ukuran yang menyatakan hereppa ditambah ujung jari tengah kanan sampai ke pertengahan dada.

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Ukuran Luas.

Lada : ukuran luas sebuah ladang .

Lobo : ukuran luas sebuah ladang di atas ladang.

Himpunan yang Menyatakan Waktu .

Untuk siang hari :Hou loddo, Rede loddo, Hae loddo, Dida loddo, Kewore loddo, jelli mawo,Wawa loddo, Mako loddo, Horo loddo, Jenna loddo.

Pada malam hari dengan berpatokan pada bintang (moto) disebut : Jennaloddo, Hennurai, Merangorai, Medda, Telora medda, Perommoliru, Mealiru, Kejukka manu hika, Mourai.

Bilangan yang Menyatakan Tingkat :

A’a: untuk mengatakan kedudukan anak laki-laki / perempuan yang pertama, Telora: untuk mengatakan kedudukan anak laki-laki / perempuan yang kedua, ketiga, dst…Ari: untuk mengatakan kedudukan anak laki-laki / perempuan yang terakhir

Sistem Pengembangan Bilangan Tradisi

Jumlah bilangan tradisi yang terbatas tidak dapat menjawab kebutuhan masyarakat dalam berbagai kebutuhan komunikasi tentang fakta dan fenomena lingkungan alam terhadap sesama dan generasi sesudahnya. Karena itu terjadi pengembangan bilangan tradisi secara kuatitatif dan kualitatif.

  1. Secara kuantitatifdimaksudkan untuk dapat diukur, dihitung, atau ditentukan kurang atau lebih. Secara tradisi orang Sabu mengenal bilangan satu sampai sembilan, sedangkan batas hitung sampai tabba (ribu). Untuk juta (hejuta) dan miliar (melio) mendapat pengaruh dari luar. Berikut tabel bilangan hasil sistem pengembangan.

Tabel 4

Bilangan Hasil Sistem Pengembangan

10 Henguru
11 Henguru ahhi
20 Dhuenguru
21 Dhuenguru ahhi
100 Hengahu
101 Hengahu ahhi
1000 Hetabba
1001 Hetabba ahhi
1100 Hetabba hengahu
1500 Hetebba lammingahu
2000 Dhuetabba
10000 Hengurutabba
20000 Dhuengurutabba
100000 Hengahutabba
1000000 Hejuta
100000000 Melio


Dari tabel diatas terlihat jelas bahwa dalam pengembangan bilangan maka henguru menjadi patokan untuk bentuk bilangan kelipatannya, yakni hengahu, hetabba, hejuta bahkan hemilio.

  1. Secara kualitatif

Penunjuk waktu: Hari: satu hari dinyatakan dalam 18 pembagian waktu (9 waktu siang dan 9 waktu malam) Minggu: orang Sabu membagi minggu dalam 7 hari, Bulan: orang Sabu menggunakan perhitungan bulan atas 30 hari, 15 hari warruluha dan 15 hari warru hape. Tahun: orang Sabu menggunakan perhitungan tahun atas 12 bulan. (kalender terlampir)Musim:orang Sabu membagi musim atas dua musim yang disebut warru wadu dan warru ejjilai.Warru wadu terbagi atas enam bulan dan juga sebaliknya.

Makna bilangan dalam pandangan hidup masyarakat Sabu

Bilangan Satu

Bilangan satu: diyakini sebagai permulaan dari segala sesuatu. Dalam ritual Puru Hogo, Baga Rae dan Kuja Ma bilangan satu sebagai pertanda hari pertama memulai semua kegiatan. Dalam ritus Hapo Ana bilangan ini sebagai petanda awal kehidupan baru, dan dalam ritus Made sebagai persiapan untuk sebuah perjalan panjang dalam dunia gaib. Mereka juga mengakui bahwa alam semesta ini diciptakan oleh AhhiDo Muo Do Megala (satu Zat Ilahi) yang mereka kenal dengan Deo Ama. Untuk sebutan bagi Deo Ama orang Sabu juga menyebutnya Deo woro, deo penynyi, Deo Toda Pelaku, Deo Jawi. Terhadap alam semesta ini Deo Ama menetapkan hukum harmoni agar semua berfungsi dengan seimbang, selaras dan serasi sebagai satu kesatuan yang utuh, bilangan ini juga merupakan bilangan mutlak ada.

Bilangan Dua

Bilangan dua: diyakini bahwa Deo Ama menjadikan segala sesuatu itu berpasang-pasangan[15], ada 2 unsur yang esensial, mengandung daya yang saling bertentangan, bergantungan, dan saling melengkapi. Deo Ama menjadikan daratan sebagai laki-laki dan lautan sebagai Perempuan, Matahari dan bulan, siang dan malam; Dalam bentuk bangunan rumah adat bilangan ini merupakan bilangan pasangan tiang Duru dan Wui, pintu bagi laki-laki dan perempuan yang menandakan adanya peran dan fungsi yang ditegakkan. Dalam ritus Puru Hogo bilangan ini sebagai petanda kesiapan menyambut dan mengelola berkat yang akan datang dengan membuat Kepue Rao. Dalam ritus Baga Rae sebagai petanda adanya relasi yang harmonis dengan alam sekitar dan memohon perlindungan yang disebut Lau Rai. Dalam ritus Kuja Ma disebut nga’a pehiu Wini dengan maksud agar tanaman yang ditanam tidak tumbuh lebih subur satu dari yang lain. Dalam ritus Hapo Ana disebut Pehae lii Tao.


Bilangan Tiga

Bilangan tiga: diyakini bahwa dalam membangun sesuatu tidak dapat berjalan dengan baik tanpa ada kerja sama. Bilangan tiga digambarkan sebagai tiga batu tungku (‘duru rao). Apapun yang dikerjakan diatas ‘duru rao pasti akan berhasil. Bilangan ini juga muncul dalam pelaksanaan upacara Dab’ba dengan tiga simbol tanda abu ada dahi dan pipi kiri, kanan, tiga buah sirih dan pinang[16] yang dijadikan makhota dan tiga kali anak diayunkan (pewa’e). Juga dalam membangun rumah terdapat tiga susun (bagian) yang disebut: Kelaga Rai, Kelaga Darra dan Dammu. Fungsi Kelaga Rai untuk menerima tamu, Kelaga Darra dibagi menjadi Kelaga dduru tempat bagi kaum laki-laki melakukan aktivitas dalam rumah, Kelaga kopo tempat untuk kaum perempuan melakukan aktivitas dan menyimpan perbagai perbakalan rumah tangga. Dammu untuk menaruh hasil sebagai persembahan kepada Deo Ama. Bilangan ini juga merupakan awal dalam mengerjakan sesuatu. Karena itu dikenal haba tellu, ammu wotellu. Juga di kenal ada tiga makhluk gaib yang mengawasi alam semesta ini yakni Rai Bella, Dahi Bella, Liru Bella. Angka tiga dalam ritus perkawinan bermakna manusia terdiri dari pengabungan dari unsur Rai Bella, Dahi Bella, Liru Bella. Dalam ritus puru hogo sebagai tanda ucapan syukur dengan acara Nga’a Kewahu, dalam Jelli Ma, sebagai petanda perlidungan terhadap serangan hama yang ditandai dengan Nga’a Jelli Ma.

Bilangan empat

Bilangan empat: diyakini sebagai kesatuan kumpulan. Bilangan ini dikenal dalam arah mata angin, Utara (bo’dae) dan Selatan (bolow), Timur (Dimu) dan Barat (Wa), ada empat sudut rumah (dalam kelaga). Bilangan ini juga tergambar dalam upacara kuj’ja ma ada empat ikat ketupat yang bermakna melindungi tanaman dari kerusakan akibat angin dari keempat penjuru. Empat lubang disudut ladang melambangkan Ma Rai Ae, Na Rai Ae, Ma Rai Bella, Na Rai Bella, sebagai penghormatan kepada keempat tokoh diatas. Juga bermakna perlindungan alam atas segala hasil usaha manusia. Dalam ritus Baga Rae bermakna sikap mawas diri dan mau menerima sema peristiwa yang dialami dalam semangat persaudaraan dan kekeluargaan yang ditandai dengan acara pepehi antar warga. Dalam ritus da’ba angka ini bermakna diterimanya seorang anak sebagai bagian dari anggota keluarga. Dalam ritus Hapo bilangan ini bermakna pembersihan diri seorang ibu sehabis melahirkan.

Bilangan lima

Bilangan lima: diyakini sebagai Jabatan utama yang diembankan oleh Deo Ama kepada Kika Ga (Kika Liru) ketika kembali bumi.Jabatan ini oleh narasumber[17] sendiri sudah tidak dapat menyebutkannya lagi satu persatu. Bilangan ini juga dipakai untuk menyatakan suatu kumpulan dalam bentuk ikatan[18]. Juga merupakan bilangan yang tergambar dalam bangunan rumah orang Sabu di sebut ammuwolemmi. Dalam ritus hapo bilangan ini bermakna persekutuan yang erat dalam keluarga.

Bilangan enam

Bilangan enam: diyakini ada enam langkah penciptaan oleh Deo Ama. Dalam ritus Hole bilangan ini bermakna persekutuan kekeluargaan dan persaudaraan yang rukun. Dalam ritus Kuja Ma bilangan ini bermakna berakhirnya semua kegiatan dan pembersihan diri yang ditandai dengan acara Nga’a Kama Rai. Bilangan ini juga merupakan pembagian wilayah kekuasaan secara adil yang dilakukan oleh Wai Waka kepada anak-anaknya. Bagi orang Mesara[19] tanda yang dilihat pada kacang hijau, ketika tangkai daun sudah berjumlah enam tangkai maka ia di sebut penajakolo yaitu kacang siap berbunga dan menghasilkan buah.

Bilangan Tujuh

Bilangan tujuh : ditemukan pada pembagian wilayah yang dilakukan oleh Wai Waka juga pada bentuk (ukuran) bangunan rumah orang Sabu. Bilangan ini juga dikenal dengan sebutan, ratu mone pidu, pidu ddara pidu kewahhu pidu dduru artinya tanah tujuh taji, tujuh ikatan, tujuh keratan dalam ritus Kuja Ma. Orang Sabu mengenal ada tujuh setan (wango)[20] yang bermukin dalam laut (‘dara dahi) yakni Jawi Rai, Wango Rai, Podo Rai, Hagu Rai, Piga Rai, Raga Rai dan Ngallu Apa ( Dae lole dan Gara Rai). Liae juga mendapat julukan Rae Titu Ratu Mone Pidu yang artinya negeri yang diperintah oleh tujuh imam. Juga menunjukkan 7 jenis tanaman[21] yang dianggap menjadi kebutuhan pokok orang Sabu yakni; Kelapa, Pinang, Siri, Lontar, Kacang, nila, dan mengkudu.

Bilangan Delapan

Bilangan Delapan dalam bentuk bangunan rumah adat orang Sabu merupakan pengembangan dari bilangan berpasangan yaitu adanya empat gerri tebekka dan empat gerri ae. Bilanganini dalam ritus Akki Penabbu[22] dilakukan 8 tahun sekali dengan membawah 8 jenis binatang untuk dipersembahkan kepada Deo Ama atas tanaman lontar[23] yang telah tumbuh.

Bilangan Sembilan

Bilangan Sembilan diyakini sebagai Sembilan amanat Deo Ama, yang mengatur kehidupan manusia untuk menuju kesempurnaan. Kelalaian dalam melakukan kesembilan amanat ini akan mendatangkan bencana bagi orang Sabu. Angka tertinggi sebagai yang sulung diantara saudara-saudara. Dalam ritus Banga Liwu angka sembilan pada bunyi tambur bermakna selesainya semua rangkaian kegiatan sebagai tanda syukur dan hormat atas sema berkat yang diterima. Dalam ritus Baga Rae sebagai pengembangan dari jumlah tahun upacara.

Berdasarkan uraian di atas dan jumlah jenis persembahan yang disajikan kepada Deo Ama bilangan yang dipakai sebagai bilangan magis adalah bilangan tiga (3). Bilangan ini merupakan gambaran dari kehidupan manusia yang terdiri atas tubuh, jiwa dan roh yang diyakini pula merupakan gabungan dari Deo Liru Bella, Deo Dahi Bela dan Deo Rai Bella. Orang Sabu juga meyakini alam ini terbagi atas tiga bagian yakni rai liru, rai wawa dan rai menata, dan sebagai tanda perjanjian pada hari dabba. Menyatakann hubunganmanusia dengan Deo Ama, sesama dan alam gaib (deo ama oppu).

Berdasarkan data di atas maka makna angka / bilangan tradisi dapat dideskripsikan adalah:

  1. Bilangan 1 bermakna adanya satu kesatuan kekuatan ilahi yang mengatur jagat raya ini, Kesepakatan, awal mula segala sesuatu.
  2. Bilangan 2 bermakna persatuan fungsi dan peran Pasangan,
  3. Bilangan 3 bermakna kebersamaan dalam menanggung beban atau tanggungjawab, pemurnian dan perjanjian
  4. Bilangan 4 bermakna kesemestaan alam ini, relasi dengan alam semesta, pemulihan kekuatan dan pembersihan diri, sikap mawas diri dan mau menerima setiap peristiwa yang terjadi dalam semangat persaudaraan dan kekeluargaan. perlindungan alam
  5. Bilangan 5 bermakna tanggung jawab dan persekutuan yang erat diantara sesama anggota keluarga.
  6. Bilangan 6 bermakna kekuasaan, persekutuan dan pemurnian diri, penonjolan diri, hawa nafsu dan egois, pencarian jati diri
  7. Bilangan 7 bermakna kematangan, kesempurnaan
  8. Bilangan 8 bermakna kejayaan, kemenangan, kedamaian
  9. Bilangan 9 bermakna kehormatan, kemuliaan, keagungan


Perspektif Orang Sabu Terhadap Bilangan 6

Tabel 5 Proses semiosis Barthez

Denotasi Konotasi Mitos
Angka yang dipakai oleh Wai waka untuk membagi wilayah kepada anak-anaknya Penciptaan Kekuasaan dan keadilan


Makna denotasi bilangan 6 dalam perspektif orang Sabu sebagai pembagian kekuasaan dan talenta secara adil oleh leluhur mereka (Wai Waka kepada anak-anaknya). Pembagian ini dilakukan oleh Wai Waka diawali dengan doa dan pesan[24] kepada anak-anaknya untuk hidup rukun satu sama yang lain. Makna konotasi bilangan 6 dalam tradisi orang Sabu merupakan bilangan 6 langkah penciptaan oleh Deo Ama dan pada penciptaan keenam manusialah yang diciptakan terakhir dari Ai Woro.Bilangan ini memaknai persekutuan seluruh warga dan selesainya semua pekerjaan serta pembersihan diri. Mitosnya adalah manusia diberi kekuasaan untuk mengelolah hasil alam ini sebaik mungkin, dengan usaha sendiri maka tidak akan mencapai kesempurnaan, karena itu Deo Ama harus hadir sebagai pokok kesempurnaan. Jika bilangan 6 bermakna kekuasaan secara adil untuk memelihara persekutuan kekeluargaan dan pesaudaraan yang rukun dalam jiwa yang murni, maka bilangan 6 diulangi dua kali menegaskan adanya egoisme terhadap penggunaan kekuasaan. Bilangan 6 diulangi tiga kali menunjukkan hancurnya semangat persekutuan kekeluargaan daan persaudaraan yang adil dalam jiwa yang murni. Jadi angka 666 dalam tradisi bermakna manusia egois yang menggunakan kekuasaan untuk kepentingan diri.


Makna bilangan 6 dalam tradisi orang Sabu dipahami sebagai Pembagian kekuasaan secara adil dijalankan dalam semangat persaudaraan dan kekeluargaan yang rukun dengan jiwa yang murni. Bilangan 6 merupakan bilangan antara 3 dan sembilan yang menandakan manusia sebagai ciptaan Deo Ama dalam relasinya harus dapat bekerja samauntuk mencapai kesempurnaan.

Dalam masyarakat bilangan ini diulang tiga kali menunjukkan manusia berusaha menguasi alam dan sesama secara kejam untuk mencari hormat dan kemuliaan dirinya, sehingga semangat persekutuan kekeluargaan dan persaudaraan yang rukun dalam jiwa yang murni, menjadi rusak. Juga merupakan penegasan bahwa kekuasaan manusia ada batasnya.


Daftar Pustaka


Abrams, M.H., A Glosary of Literary Term (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Wiston, 1981)

Aminuddin, Semantik: Pengantar Studi tentang Makna (Bandung: Sinar Baru, 1988)

Bartehs, Roland, Imaji Musik Teks Analisis semiology atas fotohrafi, iklan,film, msik, Alkitab, penulisan dan pembacaan kritik sastra ( Yogyakarta, Jalasutra 2010)

Budiman, Manneke, “Indonesia: Perang Tanda,” dalam Indonesia: Tanda yang Retak (Jakarta: Wedatama Widya Sastra, 2002)

Danesi, Marcel, Pesan, Tanda dan Makna (Yogyakarta, Jalasutra 2010)

Depdikbud NTT, Adat Istiadat Daerah Nusa Tenggara Timur (Kupang 1991)

De Saussure, F., Course in General Linguistics, (Yogyakarta: Gajah Mada University Press, 1988)

Eco, Umberto, Semiotics and the philosophy of language, (London, The Macmiland Ltd, 1999)

Faisal, Sanapiah, Penelitian Kualitatif ; dasar-dasar dan aplikasi, (Malang, YA3 Malang 1990)

Fiske, John, Cultural and Comunication Studies Sebuah Pengantar (Yogyakarta, Jalasutra 2008)

Jorgensen, Marianne W. & Louise J. Phillips, “Analisis Wacana, teori dan metode” (Yogyakarta:Pustaka Belajar, 2007)

Hoed, Benny H, “Strukturalisme, Pragmatik dan Semiotik dalam Kajian Budaya,” dalam Indonesia: Tanda yang Retak (Jakarta: Wedatama Widya Sastra, 2002)

Muhadjir, H. Noeng, Metodologi Penelitian Kualitatif, Pendekatan Positivistik, Rasionalistik, Phenomenologik, & Realisme Metaphisik, Telaah studi teks dan Penelitian Agama; (Yogyakarta, Rake Sarasin 1998)

Moleong, Lexy J, Metodologi Penelitian Lapangan Kualitatif; (Bandung: Remaja Rasda Karya, 2010)

Netty, A.G. Hadzarmawit, Bilangan Super (Surabaya: B Young Publishing, 2012)

Pateda, Mansoer, Semantik Leksikal (Jakarta: Rineka Cipta)

Rafiek, M, Teori Sastra, (Bandung:Refika Aditama,2010)

Riwu Kaho, Robert, Orang Sabu dan Budayanya, (Yogyakarta, Jogya Global Media 2005)

Rohman, Saifur. Hermeneutik Panduan kea rah desain Penelitian dan Analisis (Jakarta, Graha Ilmu 2012)

Sobur, Alex, Analisis Teks Media (Bandung: Remaja Rosdakarya, 2004)

Teew, A., Khasanah Sastra Indonesia (Jakarta: Balai Pustaka, 1984)

Titscher, Stefan, Metode Analisis Tek & Wacana; (Yogyakarta,Pustaka Belajar 2009)

Van Zoest, Aart, Semiotika: Tentang Tanda, Cara Kerjanya dan Apa yang kita Lakukan Dengannya; (Jakarta: Yayasan Sumber Agung, 1993)

Wibowo Indiwan Seto Wahyu, Semiotika Aplikasi Praktis Penelitian dan Penulisan Skripsi Ilmu Komunikasi; (Jakarta, Universitas Prof. Dr. Moestopo,2006)


Karya ilmiah

Bunga Tedju, Pantekosarlin Y, Ritus HapoAna “Tinjuauan Teologis kontkestual terhadap Ritus Hapo Ana di Jemaat Pniel Luimadiri Klasis Sabu Barat”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2008)

Dali, John Ly, Hole “Tinjuauan Teologis kontkestual terhadap persepsi Orang Jingitiu tentang Yang Ilahi dalam ritus Hole di Jemaat Ebenhaezer Ege”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2008)

Dima, Yuliana, Hegutu Kado “Tinjuauan Teologis kontkestual terhadap ritus Hegutu Kad’do di Jemaat Imanuel Ligu”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2009)

Dryanti, Restituta, Makna Simbolik Tato bagi Manusia Dayak dalam Kajian Hermenutika Paul Ricoeur ( Tesis : Univesitas Indonesia, 2011

Hawu Haba, Yuda D, Injil dan Jingitiu ( Tesis: Jakarta, STT Jakarta, 2006)

Kana Wadu, Apriany, Makna Hengad’du bagi Orang Sabu “Suatu Studi tentang Hengad’du di GMMI Jemaat Persaudaraan Nunbaun Sabu”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2006)

Kota, Juliana, Hengad’du sebagai Akta perdamaian di Kalangan Masyarakat Suku Sabu “Tinjuauan Teologis terhadap Makna Hengad’du dan Implikasinya bagi Jemaat Syalom Raeliu”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2008)

Poyk, Joneth Laurencia Rillentry, Budaya Kad’di dan DampaknyaTerhadapKeluarga “Suatu Studi Sosio-Pastoral Terhadap Keluarga Sabu di Kampung Sabu Labat Kelurahan Bakunase ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2005)

Otemusu, Adriana, Kuja Ma “Tinjuauan Teologis kontkestual terhadap ritus Kuja Ma di Wilayah Adat Sabu Liae”, ( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2006)

Ritenour, Karen E, The Problem [of Paul Riceour’s Symbols] of Evil, ( Tesis : Oregon State University, 2002)

Shahab , Achmad, Nilai-Nilai Agama dalam Film Ayat-Ayat Cinta, (Skripsi : Surakarta, Univ Sebelas Maret FISIP, 2010)

Wadu, Marselina Jublina, Ritus Kematian Agama Suku Sabu dan Dampaknya terhadap Upacara Pemakaman Orang Sabu Kristen di Jemaat Yeruel Seba Kota,( Skripsi : Kupang, Univ Krist. Artha Wacana Fak Teologia, 2008)



El Mahdi, Lathifatul Izzah, Hermeneutika-Fenomenologi Paul Ricoeur: dari pembacaan teks simbol hingga pembacaan teks-aksi sejarah.   Jurnal kajian Islam Interdisipliner Vol 6, nomor 1, Januari-Juni 2007

Ferrara, Ricardo, Paul Ricouer (1913-2005) Sus Aportes A. La Teologia, Abril 2006

Sanga, Felysianus. Nama Bilangan Pokok dalam Bahasa-bahasa daerah di Nusa tenggara Timur Sebagai pengetahuan dasar Matematika bagi Siswa Pendidikan dasar. Kupang: Guru bahasa, Edisi I, Tahun Pertama 1996

Suratminto, Lilie, Brandes Sang Penyelamat Manuskrip Nagarakertagama (Jakarta, Jumantra Vol 3 No. 2 2012)

Data Internet

Hayashida Chinatsu      : “Mari Kita Selidiki Rahasia Angka 666” 14 Agustus 2011

Kamus Arti kata           : “Bilangan”.

Kristanti,Elin Yunita : “Ini 11 Ramalan Kiamat yang Gagal Total”, Posted: 13/12/2012

Mardiana, Rintyastini Harissa : “Hermeneutika” 2011

Putra, Derichard H, “Fenomenologi dan Herneutika: Sebuah Perbandingan 20 Juli 2012

Sarapan pagi Bibilika    : “Memahami Ucapan yang Sulit dalam Perjanjian Baru : Bilangannya ialah 666.,

Sarwono          : “Fenomenologi dan Hermeneutika”, 32 Maret 2011

Sinaga, Suryani Juniati : “Waspadalah !!! 666 – Angka dari Antichrist / Dajjal”, Permata Kehidupan (Wednesday, 18 May 2005) 2 Desember 2007

Syekhuddin      : “Filsafat Hermeneutika”, 22 September 2002

Zakiya,Zika: “lima prediksi kiamat yang meleset”, ( Sumber: Live Science)Selasa, 18 Desember 2012,



[1] Mahasiswa program Studi Linguistik PPs Undana angkatan 2012

[2] F. Sanga Sistem Bilangan Pokok Tradisional dalam masyarakat Nusa Tenggara Timur sebuah kajian etnografis, Jurnal Guru Bahasa 1996

[3] Jingitiu adalah kepercayaan tradisional yang dianut oleh masyarakat Sabu, Kepercayaan Jingitiu ini sebenarnya hanyalah sebutan dari para penginjil Kristen Portugis saja, karena kepercayaan asli orang Sabu tidak diketahui secara pasti namanya. Hal ini didasarkan pada arti Jingitiu dalam bahasa lokal, yakni menolak (jingi) dari (ti) Tuhan (au). Padahal orang Sabu sangat meyakini adanya Tuhan yang mereka sebut dengan Deo Ama (Allah Bapa, asal dari segala sesuatu) atau Deo Woro Deo Pennji (Tuhan pencipta semesta) atau Deo Mone Ae (Tuhan Maha Kuasa / Maha Agung).


[5] Robert Riwu Kaho “Orang Sabu dan budayanya” 2005

[6] Pantekosarlin Y Bunga Tedju “Ritus Hapo Ana” 2008 : 12

[7]Ama Terru Ludji: “Agama suku Sabu”

[8] Juda D. Hawu Haba “Gospel and Jingitiu” 2006 : 45-47

Baca Robert R. Kaho “Orang Sabu dan Budayanya” 2005

[9] Wilayah adat Mesara.

[10]Baca: Juda D. Hawu Haba “Injil dan Jingitiu” 2006

[11] Kalender adat terlampir

[12]Leluhur Orang Sabu dalam generasi ke-6

[13]Baca :Pantekosarlin Y Bunga Tedju” 2008

[14]Baca : Robert Riwu Kaho“Orang Sabu dan Budayanya” 2005

[15] Wawancara dengan pdt Emr. Nguru Wadu, Herman Dida,Leofilus Kale, Lambertus Huru

[16]Baca : Pantekosarlin Y. Bunga Tedju “Ritus Hapo Ana” 2008

[17] Petrus Baki, wawancara tanggal 2 Desember 2013

[18] Heekki terdiri dari lima buah (contoh pada kelapa)

[19] Baca : Yuda Deferset Hawu Haba “Injil dan Jingitiu” 2006

[20]Baca : John Ly Dali “Hole” 2008

[21] Diyakini berasal dari bagian tubuh Rai Ae: Kelapa = tempurung kepala, Pinang = biji mata, Siri = jari, Pohon Lontar = kemaluan, Kacang = ginjal, Mengkudu = ludah merah

[22] Yat padjie

[23] Tanaman lontar ini ditanam dalam satu kebun, setiap jumlah ke sepuluh sebagai tanaman persembahan.

[24] Lihat topik bilangan tradisi orang Sabu



Penerjemahan dan Dunia Global: Pengalaman Australia dalam Penjurubahasaan

by Rochayah Machali- UNSW, Australia

(Versi awal tulisan ini pernah disajikan di Seminar Nasional Penerjemahan di Politeknik Negeri Malang, tahun 2007)


Globalisasi telah menjadi istilah yang sangat umum kita dengar, yang prosesnya sangat terkait secara langsung dengan bidang ekonomi dan pemasaran. Namun demikian, efek globalisasi itu sendiri juga merasuk ke dalam berbagai aspek kehidupan, sistem sosial dan politik, lembaga dan nilai serta ke dalam kegiatan keseharian kita. Banyak perusahaan menjual produknya ke seluruh dunia dan menjadi perusahaan supranasional, sehingga identifikasi kenegaraan tak lagi terlalu penting. Banyak perubahan yang terjadi terhadap bentuk-bentuk bisnis, perdagangan, dan pendidikan, misalnya banyak perusahaan melakukan jual-beli produk melalui Internet.
Kehidupan keseharian kita pun terpengaruhi oleh perkembangan dan perubahan ini. Berbagai hal sudah bisa dilakukan dengan sangat lebih cepat dibandingkan dengan beberapa tahun yang lalu. Perbelanjaan dan perbankan sekarang bisa dilakukan dengan mudah melalui Internet. Semakin banyak iklan yang mengajak kita untuk bekerja dari rumah dengan memanfaatkan teknologi, misalnya banyak penerjemah lepas yang bekerja dari rumah dengan memanfaatkan ratron dan komputer. Maka, sudah semakin banyak orang menjadi bagian dari benua ke tujuh yang bersifat maya ini, ‘virtual seventh continent’.

Semua perubahan ini telah mempengaruhi cara kita belajar, mencari informasi, dan cara kita berkomunikasi. Pencarian informasi, misalnya, sudah jauh lebih mudah karena kita tinggal menekan tombol di komputer dan memasuki ‘benua ke tujuh’ tersebut di atas. Misalnya, melalui search engines kita bisa mencari makna suatu kata dengan mudah. Selain itu, kegiatan penjurubahasaan juga telah mengalami perubahan penting, misalnya melalui tele-conference pada tataran global, yang tidak memerlukan kehadiran fisik bagi para peserta.
Selain itu, bagi kita yang bekerja di bidang yang terkait bahasa, perubahan yang paling penting adalah yang menyangkut bahasa dan penggunaan bahasa itu sendiri. Misalnya, kita dihadapkan pada pertanyaan-pertanyaan seperti ‘bahasa atau bahasa-bahasa apa yang digunakan di Internet?’, ‘bahasa apa yang digunakan pada tingkat global?’, ‘apakah salah satu dari bahasa-bahasa ini menjadi bahasa global?, apa pengaruh ‘bahasa global’ ini terhadap kegiatan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan?.

Menurut Snell-Hornby (1999), bahasa Inggris-lah yang menjadi bahasa yang dominan dan menjadi lingua franca internasional. Namun, menurutnya bahasa tersebut tidak lagi membawa identitas ragam nasional tertentu. Dengan kata lain, bahasa tersebut menjadi‘globish’ atau menjadi ‘McLanguage’ yang sifatnya lebih sederhana dibandingkan dengan ‘bahasa Inggris’. Di Australia, misalnya, akhir-akhir ini juga ada keprihatinan bahwa bahasa Inggris sudah tidak ada lagi; yang muncul adalah varian-varian seperti ‘Spanglish’, ‘Chinglish’, dll (yang secara akademis sering dirujuk sebagai ‘hibrida’, yang akan dibahas lagi nanti).
Memang, menurut statistik hasil kajian the Economist (15 Mei 1999) dan Der Spiegel (4 Oktober 1999), jumlah situs web yang menggunakan bahasa Inggris sudah menurun menjadi 57.4% (dari 75%), namun bahasa Inggris masih menjadi bahasa yang banyak digunakan karena melalui bahasa inilah pasar global bisa diraih.

Seperti dikatakan di atas, ‘bahasa global’ tersebut mempunyai ciri baru, baik dari segi bentuk maupun ‘aturan’ penggunaannya. Bahasa tersebut menjadi lebih sederhana, meskipun ini tidak berarti terjadi pemiskinan komunikasi. Banyak kajian yang menunjukkan bahwa beberapa aspek kebahasaan dari ‘New English’ ini sudah mengalami perubahan.Misalnya, aspek kala yang digunakan dalam ‘New English’ tidak secanggih bahasa Inggris, khususnya kala ‘progresif’ (Collins, 2007). Selain itu, dalam kajian lain, dikenali adanya kecenderungan ‘hybrid texts’. Adejunmobi (dalam Schäffner, 1999) menyebut teks jenis ini ‘compositional translations’, yakni teks yang dihasilkan oleh penulis pasca-kolonial Afrika yang ditulis dalam bahasa Eropa namun dengan menggunakan pola pikir Afrika. Dengan kata lain, teks dalam bahasa Eropa tersebut ‘berbau’ Afrika.

Dalam kegiatan penjurubahasaan, teks jenis ini paling banyak dijumpai, yang tidak selalu dikarenakan oleh pengaruh globalisasi. Hibriditas teks dalam kegiatan ini lebih dikarenakan oleh sifat kegiatan tersebut, yang menuntut seorang jurubahasa beralih dari satu bahasa ke bahasa lain dalam waktu yang relatif cepat. Seringkali, dalam prosesnya terjadi ‘interlingual transfer’ yang tak terhindarkan. Pembicaraan mengenai teks hibrida itu sendiri dapat dilihat dari berbagai kerangka teori, misalnya melalui kerangka post colonial study, intertextuality, cultural studies, text identity, dsb.

Pembahasan mengenai peran juru bahasa di Australia tidak terlepas dari kebijakan negara itu untuk menerapkan multikulturalisme. Penetapan juru bahasa dan penerjemah sebagai profesi yang diakui di Australia telah melewati sejarah yang panjang, serta melewati beberapa tahap. Oleh karena itu, makalah ini disajikan dalam tiga bagian:
(1) Latar belakang profesi penerjemah dan juru bahasa di Australia, yang mencakup (a) akreditasi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa; (b) Organisasi profesi dan kode etik;
(2) Juru bahasa & penjurubahasaan, yang mencakup (a) ‘jenis’, (b) ‘cara penjurubahasaan’, (c) contoh kasus;
(3) Pelatihan dan pendidikan juru bahasa dan penerjemah di Australia (gambaran selayang pandang).

Meskipun secara geografis Australia terletak di kawasan Asia, adat istiadat, agama, struktur sosial dan struktur pemerintahannya lebih dekat ke negara Inggris yang menjajahnya pada tahun 1788 dan mengesahkan Konstitusi Federalnya di tahun 1901.

Dengan demikian, bahasa utamanya tentu saja bahasa Inggris. Namun, berkaitan dengan meningkatnya jumlah imigran, populasi yang non-Inggris meningkat, sehingga jumlah penggunaan bahasa non-Inggris pun meningkat pula. Pada tahun 1945, dengan jumlah keseluruhan populasi yang hanya mencapai tujuh setengah juta, jumlah pengguna bahasa non-Inggris hanya kecil saja. Namun, sekarang terdapat kira-kira 90 bahasa non-Inggris yang digunakan di Australia, dan yang terbanyak jumlahnya adalah bahasa Italia dan Yunani. Akhir-akhir ini pengguna bahasa Indo-Cina juga semakin banyak.

Walaupun jumlah imigrasi menjadi ciri sejarah Australia, kebutuhan akan penerjemahan dan kejurubahasaan baru dirasakan sejak terjadinya imigrasi secara besar-besaran sesudah PDII. Kebijakan waktu itu mengharuskan para migran bisa berbahasa Inggris serta ada keharusan untuk berasimilasi. Kebijakan ini kemudian dianggap tidak manusiawi dan dianggap gagal karena untuk belajar bahasa Inggris diperlukan tenaga, waktu dan biaya yang tidak sedikit. Akibatnya, mereka yang tak mampu berbahasa Inggris mendapat kesulitan memperoleh akses serta berpartisipasi dalam kehidupan sosial dan politik di Australia. Hal ini menjadi dasar mulai dirasakannya perlunya juru bahasa dan penerjemah, yang dimulai dengan usaha sistematis oleh kelompok masyarakat Italia dan Yunani. Jumlah kedua kelompok ini waktu itu sudah semakin banyak.

Pada tahun 1960 Departemen Imigrasi Australia mulai menetapkan Unit Layanan Penerjemahan secara resmi, namun unit tersebut masih hanya dijumpai di Departemen Imigrasi saja. Unit inipun baru ditetapkan 14 tahun sesudah pemerintah Australia mulai menerima imigran secara resmi.
Kemudian, pada tahun 1973 mulailah ada perkembangan yang sangat berarti dalam hal-hal yang berkaitan dengan profesi penerjemahan dan kejurubahasaan. Sejak tahun ini, mulai dirintis berdirinya tiga lembaga dan kebijakan: (1) Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications (disingkat COPQ). (2) National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (disingkat NAATI). (3) Kebijakan Nasional dalam bidang Bahasa (National Language Policy). Ketiga hal ini bersangkut-paut dengan profesi penerjemah dan jurubahasa, sebagaimana dijelaskan di bawah ini. Namun, hanya COPQ dan NAATI saja yang disinggung.

(a) Lembaga Kualifikasi Profesi (COPQ)
Lembaga ini bertugas melakukan evaluasi serta, bila perlu, memberikan sertifikasi bagi kualifikasi profesional yang diperoleh dari luar Australia. Pada tahun 1974 dibentuk Panitia Kerja yang tugasnya tiga:

1. membentuk Lembaga Nasional untuk mengontrol sertifikasi juru bahasa dan penerjemah, terlibat dalam pengujian dan penciptaan lembaga pelatihan.
2. menetapkan klasifikasi standar bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah, berdasarkan 5 tingkat struktur berdasarkan ketrampilan dan tugas yang dilakukan.
3. menetapkan struktur gaji bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah untuk menarik minat kalangan terdidik.

Dalam tahun-tahun ini, ada perubahan moto dan sikap dalam kebijakan pemerintah Australia: dari asimilasi ke integrasi, dan kemudian menjadi kebijakan multikulturalisme sampai sekarang. Dalam konteks kebijakan ini, kegiatan kejurubahasaan dan penerjemahan menjadi profesi yang dilindungi, sebagaimana halnya dengan profesi lain.

(b) Akreditasi bagi Penerjemah dan Juru bahasa
Sejalan dengan hasil kerja Panja COPQ di atas, pada tahun 1977 dibentuklah suatu Badan Otonom oleh Departemen Imigrasi dan Urusan Etnis. Badan Otonom ini menetapkan bahwa: ‘…eventually, in Australia no one will be able to practice as an interpreter or translator who has not NAATI accreditation at the appropriate level” (garis bawah ditambahkan).

Pada tahun 1978, pembedaan tingkat ada lima: tingkat pertama dan kedua adalah tingkatan sub-profesional sedangkan tingkat III s/d V adalah tingkat profesional. Pembedaan antara kedua jenis tingkatan ini didasarkan pada dua hal: tingkat pra-profesional adalah dwibahasawan yang menggunakan kompetensinya untuk membantunya dalam tugas utama di tempat kerjanya. Tingkat profesional adalah mereka yang hidupnya tergantung atas penerjemahan/penjurubahasaan.

Namun, belakangan ini tingkat-tingkat tersebut diubah kategorisasinya menjadi: tingkat paraprofesional (penerjemah dan juru bahasa) dan tingkat profesional (penerjemah dan juru bahasa). Masing-masing tingkat mempunyai makna dan batasan tugas sendiri-sendiri (lihat Sebagai lembaga akrediatasi, NAATI menjadi sangat berkuasa dalam menetapkan terakreditasi-tidaknya seorang penerjemah/juru bahasa. Mungkin perlu digarisbawahi di sini bahwa ‘akreditasi’ terkadang tidak menunjukkan kemampuan sebenarnya dari seorang penerjemah.

(c) Organisasi profesi & Kode Etik
Sejalan dengan semakin dikukuhkannya kedudukan NAATI, lahirlah organisasi profesi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa yang disebut AUSIT (Australian Institute for Interpreters and Translators) pada tahun 1987. Dalam jangka waktu kurang-lebih tiga tahun sejak berdirinya, AUSIT telah berhasil meyakinkan organisasi-organisasi serupa lainnya di berbagai negara bagian agar menyatu dalam satu wadah: AUSIT. Pada tahun 1987 itu, ditetapkan dua kategori keanggotaan dalam AUSIT: anggota biasa dan anggota luar biasa. Anggota biasa haruslah mereka yang mempunyai akrediatsi pada tingkat III atau sepadan.
Sebagai organisasi profesi, AUSIT menetapkan “Code of ethics” (lihat Kode etik bagi juru bahasa dan penerjemah tersebut ditetapkan bersama dengan NAATI. Terdapat dua hal utama: (1) general principles yang mencakup delapan kode etik, dan (2) “Code of practice” yang merupakan penjabaran kode etik. Kedelapan prinsip umum tersebut adalah:

1. Professional conduct, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya selalu bertindak sesuai dengan standar dan tujuan AUSIT sebagai organisasi profesi bagi penerjemah dan juru bahasa.
2. Confidentiality, yakni juru bahasa hendaknya merahasiakan informasi yang diperoleh dari pekerjeaannya.
3. Competence, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya hanya akan mengerjakan tugas yang sesuai dengan ‘akreditasi dari NAATI.
4. Impartiality, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya tidak berpihak dalam semua kontrak profesionalnya.
5. Accuracy, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah sejauh mungkin hendaknya berusaha akurat.
6. Employment, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah bertanggung jawab atas kualitas kerjanya, baik sebagai praktisi bebas maupun praktisi yang dipekerjakan oleh perusahaan.
7. Professional development, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah akan terus mengembangkan ketrampilan dan pengetahuan profesionalnya.
8. Professional solidarity, yakni bahwa juru bahasa dan penerjemah hendaknya menghormati dan mendukung rekan sekerja.

Organisasi profesi pada zaman maraknya penggunaan ratron ini sudah masuk ke dunia maya (virtual), karena tersedianya Internet (lihat pembahasan lebih lanjut di bawah, Bagian 4).


(a) Jenis
Pertama-tama sebaiknya dibedakan dulu antara penerjemahan (translating) dan penjurubahasaan (interpreting) secara jelas. Keduanya merupakan ketrampilan yang sangat khusus, dan umumnya dilakukan oleh dwibahasawan yang terlatih.

Penerjemahan berkenaan dengan teks tertulis, mulai dari karya sastra, dokumen hukum, petunjuk praktis, sampai dengan resep masakan. Banyak penerjemah yang menggarap pekerjaannya di rumah dan mengembangkan jaringan kerja dengan klien, ahli, maupun para rekan sekerja melalui komputer pribadinya (di rumah). Keberadaan e-mail, Internet dan mailing lists telah sangat memungkinkan adanya berbagai kemudahan bagi penerjemah.
Ada penerjemah yang dipekerjakan oleh perusahaan, lembaga pemerintah maupun organisasi internasional. Banyak juga penerjemah yang bekerja sebagai anggota tim besar yang menggarap tugas-tugas kebahasaan seperti sulih suara, pemasaran, penyiapan perangkat lunak, dsb.

Sebaliknya, juru bahasa adalah penerjemah lisan yang bekerja ‘on-site’, meskipun dimungkinkan dilakukan melalui telepon (telephone interpreting). Terdapat tiga jenis penjurubahasaan pada umumnya:
(a) kegiatan juru bahasa dalam konperensi (conference interpreting);
(b) juru bahasa untuk kepentingan masyarakat (community interpreting);
(c) juru bahasa untuk urusan bisnis (business interpreting).

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (a), biasanya juru bahasa berada dalam ‘booth’ (untuk bahasa tertentu), dan masing-masing ‘booth’ dihubungkan langsung ke ‘floor’ tempat para delegasi berkonperensi dan juga dengan ‘booth’ untuk bahasa lain. Misalnya, dalam KTT Non-Blok 1992, ‘booth’ untuk tim Indonesia dihubungkan dengan ‘floor’ dan dengan tim juru bahasa dari PBB. Masing-masing ‘booth’ biasanya diisi oleh dua juru bahasa atau lebih. Dengan demikian, kalau ada juru bahasa yang tiba-tiba terbatuk-batuk ketika menerjemahkan, maka juru bahasa ke dua akan langsung mengambil-alih.

Kalau seorang juru bahasa bisa mahir dalam dua bahasa asing (yang digunakan dalam suatu konperensi), maka hal itu akan sangat bagus sekali. Dengan demikian, ketika misalnya ia mendengarkan pengguna bahasa Inggris ‘beraksen’ yang sulit dipahaminya, maka ia bisa mengalihkan ‘switchboard’-nya ke ‘booth’ di sebelahnya (misalnya ‘booth’ bahasa Prancis) dan melakukan penerjemahkan secara ‘secondhand’—yakni dari Prancis ke Indonesia, meskipun pidatonya dalam bahasa Inggris (yang ‘beraksen’ tersebut). Cara ini pernah dilakukan dalam KTT Non-Blok di Jakarta yang lalu. Dengan demikian, juru bahasanya tak perlu diganti. [Catatan: untunglah dalam KTT Non-blok itu, Indonesia mempunyai juru bahasa yang mahir dalam 4 bahasa asing (Inggris, Prancis, Spanyol, Portugis—meskipun bahasa Portugis tidak diperlukan waktu itu)]. Dalam ‘conference interpreting’, Mode atau cara penjurubahasaan biasanya dilakukan secara simultan (lihat penjelasan di bawah).

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (b), yakni ‘community interpreting’, juru bahasa biasanya berhadapan secara bersegi-tiga dengan klien (bahasa sasaran) dan dengan pembicara.

segitiga jurubahasa
Gambar 1. Pengaturan duduk (seating arrangement)

Sekarang ini, di Australia (maupun di belahan lain dunia ini) telah dimungkinkan juga penjurubahasaan lewat telepon (TIS= Telephone Interpreting Service). Sebagaimana disebutkan sebelumnya, dengan pemanfaatan teknologi (baik dengan telepon bergambar atau tidak), penjurubahasaan seringkali dilaksanakan melalui tele-conference. Dengan demikian, penjurubahasaan dalam tataran global pun bisa dengan mudah dilaksanakan, tak terbatasi oleh kehadiran fisik, oleh karena tatap muka pun bisa terlaksana berkat kemajuan teknologi.

Di Australia sendiri, penjurubahasaan jenis (b), tetaplah yang paling umum dilakukan, yakni yang disebut ‘liaison interpreting’. Pada prinsipnya, seorang juru bahasa harus memahami hal-hal teknis yang penting, misalnya dia seyogyanya terlatih dalam ‘note taking’, mengetahui seating arrangement (gambar di atas), menerjemahkan dengan ber‘aku’ (karena juru bahasa adalah the ‘mouth piece’) dan bukannya dengan ‘s/he said’ (seperti dalam laporan), dll. Selain itu, juru bahasa harus memahami budaya dari bahasa yang diterjemahkannya, memahami peristilahan yang digunakan (misalnya istilah hukum kalau ia sering menjadi juru bahasa di pengadilan atau di ‘immigration tribunals’), terlatih menggunakan ingatan dan konsentrasi, menguasai ungkapan khusus (idiom, termasuk dialek, slang, dsb.). Di Australia, community interpreting dapat dilakukan dengan menggunakan salah satu dari ketiga cara: ‘simultan’, ‘konsekutif’, ‘berbisik’, tergantung kepentingan dan konsensus/konvensi.

Dalam penjurubahasaan jenis (c), suasana umum pada dasarnya tidak terlalu berbeda dengan ‘conference interpreting’, hanya saja biasanya juru bahasa tidak perlu berada dalam ‘booth’ dan suasananya tidak terlalu formal. Biasanya tidak ada pidato resmi, melainkan perundingan yang melibatkan beberapa orang saja. Misalnya, pertemuan yang melakukan evaluasi pegawai hotel dan restoran (2-3 orang), pelatihan agen asuransi yang akan memasuki pasar asing (8-10 orang), dsb.

(b) Cara penjurubahasaan
Pada umumnya terdapat tiga cara penjurubahasaan (modes of interpreting): cara konsekutif (consecutive interpreting), simultan (imultaneous interpreting), dan berbisik (whisper interpreting, juga disebut chuchotage).

Cara konsekutif
Cara ini kebanyakan digunakan dalam pertemuan bisnis, pertemuan biasa, pertemuan kecil yang informal, pengaduan hukum, pemeriksaan kesehatan, dsb. Pada dasarnya:
• juru bahasa mendengarkan pembicara sambil mencatat;
• pembicara berhenti pada interval tertentu (sesudah beberapa kalimat)agar juru bahasa dapat menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa sasaran;
• biasanya jangka waktu penjurubahasaan lebih lama daripada cara simultan, karena ada interval waktu.

Cara simultan
Cara ini kebanyakan digunakan dalam peristiwa-peristiwa berskala besar, misalnya konperensi, KTT, rapat dewan, pelatihan-pelatihan, yakni yang memerlukan penataan ruang seperti kelas atau auditorium. Namun, tidak tertutup kemungkinan untuk menggunakan cara ini dalam ‘liaison interpreting’ untuk kepentingan masyarakat, misalnya dalam pemeriksaan kesehatan.
Pada dasarnya:
• juru bahasa mendengarkan pembicara dan langsung menerjemahkannya ke dalam bahasa sasaran, hampir tanpa jarak waktu;
• cara simultan yang berskala besar seringkali memerlukan peralatan khusus (seperti ‘booth’);
• penggunaan waktunya efektif, karena bersifat ‘real time’ (bila dibandingkan dengan cara konsekutif)
Mungkin perlu dicatat di sini bahwa dalam penjurubahasaan konperensi, apalagi yang sangat resmi seperti KTT internasional, seringkali juru bahasa harus rajin ‘berburu’ teks, setidaknya sehari sebelum pelaksanaan tugasnya, misalnya dengan menghubungi panitia pihak negara lain. Seringkali delegasinya sudah mempunyai teks yang tertulis. Hal ini akan sangat memudahkan tugas juru bahasa pada hari pelaksanaan.

Cara berbisik
Pada dasarnya:
• Juru bahasa duduk di belakang partisipan dan menerjemahkan secara langsung melalui bisikan ke telinga pendengar (contohnya: pada zaman Orba, kita seringkali melihat di TV Pak Harto ditemani oleh ‘pak Gundul’ yang menjadi juru bahasanya dan duduk di belakangnya).

(c) Contoh kasus
Ada dua contoh yang ditayangkan: 1. Community interpreting; 2. TIS (Telephone Interpreting Service). Dalam contoh kasus 1 (lihat lampiran), dapat dilihat contoh ‘community interpreting’. Dalam contoh ini, seorang ibu yang hanya bisa berbahasa Mandarin ingin menanyakan kemajuan belajar anaknya bernama ‘Kar’ kepada Kepala Sekolah. Dalam peristiwa penjurubahasaan ini dapat kita perhatikan hal-hal berikut (melalui video):
1. diperlukannya ‘note taking’;
2. diperlukannya pemahaman peristilahan;
3. diperlukannya pemahaman sistem pendidikan (dalam hal ini sistem Australia);
4. adanya pelanggaran kode etik (lihat kode etik nomor 5 pada 1(c) di atas). Perhatikanlah bagaimana juru bahasa ‘menafsirkan’ ucapan Kepala Sekolah, pada bagian akhir teks (lihat lampiran)

Ada beberapa kemungkinan ‘penyebab’ mengapa juru bahasa ‘melanggar kode etik’:
1. dia tidak mengalami persekolahan di Australia dan tidak memahami sistem penilaian yang berlaku, tetapi tidak mau bertanya;
2. juru bahasa memperoleh akreditasi dari ‘tes’ dan tidak terlatih menangani peristiwa yang menimbulkan keraguan baginya.

Berdasarkan alasan (2) ini, banyak juga juru bahasa yang memilih menjalani pelatihan formal daripada mengambil tes akreditasi.
Demikian juga pada contoh yang kedua, yang menuntut pemahaman non-bahasa. Contoh TIS yang ditayangkan di sini kebetulan masih menggunakan ‘telepon kuno’ karena contoh tersebut direkam di tahun 95-an. Namun demikian, prinsip ‘telephone link-up’ yang digunakan dalam TIS tetap sama (seperti yang sudah disebutkan sebelumnya dalam prinsip tele-conference). Pihak-pihak yang terlibat dalam kegiatan tersebut tak terbatasi oleh batas fisik.
Contoh yang paling mudah untuk disebutkan di sini adalah ketika ada proses adopsi oleh orang tua angkat Australia yang calon anaknya ada di negara lain. Hukum Australia mengharuskan DoCS (Department of Community Services) untuk mewawancarai orang tua kandung. Peristiwa ini tentu melibatkan juru bahasa melalui TIS, dan ketiga pihak (pewawancara, orang tua kandung, calon orang tua angkat) semuanya ada di rumah masing-masing, di negara masing-masing.

Terdapat dua jenis pelatihan yang harus dibedakan: ‘trade courses’ yang diselenggarakan oleh TAFE (sejenis akademi) dan pelatihan yang lebih merupakan pencapaian prestasi akademik atau sebagai kajian akademik di perguruan tinggi.

Penerjemahan dan Penjurubahasaan sebagai ‘Trade courses’
Dengan memperhatikan sejarah lahirnya COPQ dan NAATI tersebut di atas, maka jelaslah bahwa tujuan dasar bagi penjelanggaraan kegiatan penjurubahasaan dan penerjemahan (Interpreting and Translating disingkat I/T) adalah untuk kepentingan masyarakat. Itulah sebabnya, kedua kegiatan tersebut disebut “Community Interpreting and Translating”. Sebagaimnana dsiebutkan di atas, bahkan tersedia ‘Telephone Interpreting Service’ (TIS).
Oleh karena ciri dan hakikat I/T di Australia yang demikian itu, maka pelatihan dan pengajaran di bidang I/T pun banyak yang mengarah ke sana, khususnya yang diselenggarakan oleh TAFE. Pelatihan yang diselenggarakan tersebut mengarah ke kualifikasi yang disebut ‘trade’ atau ketrampilan siap pakai, yang oleh Departemen Imigrasi ‘dihargai’ dengan jumlah ‘poin’ tertentu apabila seseorang ‘melamar’ untuk hidup sebagai penduduk tetap di Australia.
Pelatihan yang diberi akreditasi oleh NAATI semakin banyak dikejar orang, karena ‘harga’ tersebut. Itulah pula sebabnya NAATI menjadi lembaga yang semakin ‘powerful’. Artinya, meskipun seseorang sudah menyelesaikan program tertentu di sebuah universitas, kalau lulus dia tidak serta merta bisa (baca boleh) praktek sebagai juru bahasa/penerjemah tanpa akreditasi NAATI. Kenyataannya, memang akreditasi NAATI juga diakui oleh PBB. Memang ada pengecualian dalam praktek, misalnya penerjemahan teks yang tak ada signifikansinya bagi urusan keimigrasian tidak memerlukan akreditasi NAATI. Sebagai contoh, penerjemah yang bekerja di pusat-pusat riset (misalnya di the Australian SMERU research centre di Jakarta) tidak disyaratkan akreditasi ini. Yang diperlukan justru paham Trados.

Maka, seringkali kalau ada jurusan yang menawarkan mata kuliah ‘translating’ dan/atau ‘interpreting’ di universitas, mahasiswa seringkali bertanya apakah ada akreditasi NAATI untuk itu. Jelaslah bahwa tanpa akreditasi ini, mata kuliah tersebut ‘kurang laku dijual’. Seringkali pula, para dosen pengajar mata kuliah ini harus menulis secara eksplisit dalam ‘course outline’ bahwa mata kuliah ini melulu kajian akademik dan tidak ada sangkut-pautnya dengan akreditasi NAATI.
Bagi lembaga-lembaga pendidikan seperti TAFE yang diakui oleh NAATI, harus ada standar jumlah jam latihan tertentu yang harus dipenuhi. Itupun oleh NAATI disebut “NAATI approved courses” bukan “NAATI accredited courses”.

Penerjemahan dan Penjurubahasaan sebagai Mata Kuliah di Perguruan Tinggi

Seperti disampaikan di atas, mahasiswa seringkali bertanya apakah suatu prgram atau mata kuliah I/T diberi akreditasi NAATI. Sebagai mata kuliah atau program, ada keseimbangan antara teori dan praktek, atau bahkan kadang-kadang lebih banyak teori daripada prakteknya. Alasannya, diharapkan para mahasiswa akan melanjutkan kajiannya ini dalam bentuk riset di belakang hari. Toh untuk praktek, mereka bisa mengambil tes NAATI.
Seringkali, di beberapa Perguruan tinggi, mata kuliah I/T ini berdiri sendiri sebagai mata kuliah pilihan (misalnya dalam program Applied Linguistics di UNSW). Namun, ada juga yang menawarkannya sebagai paket yang terpadu, meskipun terkadang masih dalam bentuk tambal-sulam, misalnya paket yang ditawarkan oleh Macquarie University, pada tingkat Magister (lihat; Jurusan Bahasa Cina di UNSW mempunyai struktur yang serupa.

Di universitas Macquarie, misalnya, ada satuan mata kuliah inti dan satuan pilihan. Uniknya, praktek penerjemahan diletakkan sebagai satuan pilihan (bukan wajib). Hal ini tentunya sangat berbeda dengan trade courses di TAFE.
Di UNSW, keadaannya lebih-lebih lagi, karena, misalnya, mata kuliah yang saya ajarkan “Translation: Theory and Practice” merupakan bagian dari program “Applied Linguistics” yang ditawarkan di Jurusan Linguistik. Pada tataran School (yang menjadi ‘payung’ bagi jurusan-jurusan bahasa dan linguistik) sekarang ditawarkan program magister yang lebih terpadu, meskipun tanpa embel-embel ‘akreditasi NAATI’. Ada upaya untuk ‘berkiblat’ ke Montreal (The Monterey Institute of International studies) yang mempunyai program dengan penekanan pada conference interpreting. Namun, inipun masih belum terlaksana sepenuhnya.

Tidak mudah memilih prinsip atau ‘ideologi’ yang mendasari model pelatihan yang dipilih: apakah lebih ke teori, lebih ke praktek, ataukah keseimbangan antara keduanya serta bagaimana bentuknya. Mengingat asal-mula terbentuknya NAATI dan sejarah kegiatan I/T di Australia, maka idealnya memang segala pelatihan mengarah ke sana. Namun, bila melulu ideologi ini yang diikuti, maka ‘translation as academic studies’ bisa terkesampingkan. Padahal, translation studies sekarang sudah jauh berkembang menjadi kajian yang semakin menarik, yang bisa diantarkaitkan dengan kajian lain seperti postcolonial studies, discourse studies, dll. Yang paling umum adalah kaitannya dengan cultural studies.


Sebagai praktisi juru bahasa (dan penerjemah), banyak hal yang saya rasakan perubahannya akhir-akhir ini. Misalnya, dengan tersedianya ratron atau email, kegiatan penerjemahan menjadi tidak terbatasi oleh batas geografis. Kadang-kadang, ada pesanan dari Amerika untuk dikerjakan di Australia, dari Indonesia untuk dikerjakan di Singapura, dsb.

Dengan demikian, untuk teks-teks yang tidak ada kaitannya dengan dokumen keimigrasian, akreditasi NAATI tidak lagi terlalu diperlukan, dan kadang-kadang klien bahkan tidak menanyakannya. Untuk kegiatan penerjemahan dalam volume yang besar, yang seringkali ditanyakan oleh klien atau perusahaan besar adalah: apakah penerjemah punya trados. Trados adalah program ‘information management’ yang dikeluarkan oleh Microsoft (kabarnya baru saja dibeli oleh perusahaan SDL). Melalui program ini, penerjemahan teks dalam jumlah besar yang memerlukan konsistensi frase dan peristilahan akan mudah dikerjakan. Namun, dengan harganya yang tak terjangkau, seringkali penerjemah lepas tidak bisa membelinya.

Melalui ratron, segala ‘order’ penerjemahan sekarang bisa dilakukan, termasuk ‘subtitling’ atau ‘screen translating’. Di masa lalu, penerjemah harus menghitung jumlah karakter dalam terjemahannya agar tidak memenuhi layar kaca. Dengan tersedianya ratron, penghitungan tersebut tidak lagi diperlukan. Klien akan mengirim teks elektronik (berbentuk teletext) lengkap dengan ruang yang sudah ditetapkan untuk terjemahannya, dan penerjemah tinggal menyesuaikannya dengan konteks (termasuk konteks visual dalam kasus penerjemahan film).

Seperti disebutkan di atas, kegiatan penjurubahasaan pun sudah bisa memanfaatkan kemajuan teknologi melalui tele-conference.

Organisasi profesi lewat ratron
Dengan timbulnya berbagai mailing lists atau kelompok diskusi melalui ratron belakangan ini, solidaritas antar para penerjemah (dan juru bahasa) semakin luas dan terbina dengan baik. Salah satu ajang diskusi dan tukar pikiran yang melibatkan bahasa Indonesia adalah “bahtera” (website:, dan mailing list-nya adalah ( Tentu banyak sudah menjadi anggotanya (mungkin dari para hadirin juga).
Dengan adanya ‘mailing list’ tersebut, poin terakhir dalam kode etik NAATI (professional solidarity) sangat mudah dilaksanakan (meski pelaksananya tidak mengetahui adanya kode etik tersebut). Lowongan-lowongan penjurubahasaan juga seringkali disampaikan melalui ‘Bahtera’.


Globalisasi telah menyebabkan perubahan besar dalam berbagai bidang, termasuk di bidang penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan. Berdasarkan pengalaman Australia sebagai Negara multicultural, telah dibahas kegiatan penjurubahasaan dan penerjemahan di Australia, yang muncul dari kebutuhan masyarakat. Berdasarkan kebutuhan ini telah dibentuk Badan Otonom yang mengatur akreditasinya.
Oleh karena sejarahnya yang melibatkan urusan keimigrasian, maka kegiatan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan pada awalnya hanya ditangani sebagai bagian dari Departemen Imigrasi. Baru beberapa lama kemudian, penerjemah dan juru bahasa menjadi profesi yang diakui keberadaannya secara hukum sehingga penetapan ‘gaji’nya pun diatur. Seiring dengan itu, dibentuk pula Lembaga Profesi yang menelurkan kode etik profesi. Seiring dengan itu pula, pelatihan penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan disesuaikan dengan tuntunan NAATI, dan untuk kepentingan akreditasi NAATI. Namun, penerjemahan dan penjurubahasaan juga menjadi ranah ‘pendidikan’ di perguruan tinggi yang seringkali menekankan sisi teoretik penerjemahan. Di sinilah sisi yang perlu diperhatikan dan masih perlu pemecahan mengenai iedologi yang dianut, dsb.
Seiring dengan kemajuan teknologi, penerjemahan tidak hanya melibatkan ‘manusia’ sebagai ‘pelaksana’ penerjemahan. Ada perangkat lunak yang bisa membantu manusia dalam menerjemahkan suatu teks. Bidang teknologi ini merupakan hal yang tidak bisa dilupakan dalam pelatihan dan pendidikan penerjemah.


Collins, P (2007), The Progress of Progressive Tenses, ALAA, forthcoming.
Gentile, Adolfo et al, Liaison Interpreting, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
Gile, Daniel, Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1995.
Ginori, Luciano, Introduction to Interpreting, Sydney: Lantern, 1995
Machali, Rochayah, Pedoman bagi Penerjemah, Jakarta: Grasindo: 2000.
Machali, Rochayah, Redefining Textual equivalence in Translation, Jakarta: PPUI, 1998
Ozolins, Uldis, Interpreting, Translating and Language Policy, Melbourne: NLIA, 1991.
Snell-Hornby (1999) dalam Schäffner (1999), Editorial: Globalisation, Communication, Translation, Current Issues in Language and Society, Vol. 6, No. 2, 1999.
Thomas. Noel et al, Interpreting as a Language Teaching Technique, London: Centre for Information on Language Teaching and research, 1985.
Seleskovitch, D., Interpreting for International Conferences, Washington: Pen and Booth, 1978.


A World in Edgeways (Interpreting in health contexts), Melbourne: Training, Health &
Educational Media Pty Ltd, 1989.
Walking a tightrope: interpreting for professionals, Canberra: National Accreditation
Authority for Translators and Interpreters [distributor], 1984.
Interpreting ethics: ethical issues for community interpreters, Sydney: Open Training and
Education Network, 1996.
Moving towards meaning: interpreting techniques, Adelaide: International Languages and
Tourism, Adelaide Institute of TAFE, 1998.
At the headmaster’s office: Mrs. Lam – Cantonese

HM= Headmaster; I = Interpreter; M= Mother (Mrs. Lam)

HM: How can I help you?
M: …………………………..
I: I want to see you today because I want to talk to you about my son’s study plan.
HM: Tell Mrs. Lam she’s got nothing to worry about. Kar is doing well in all of his subjects.
I: …………………………..
M: …………………………..
I: Yes, all except Math.
HM: Math IS one of his weakest subjects, but it’s above the average, and is improving all the time.
I: ( to M) …………………………..
M: …………………………..
I: (to HM) But we want him to do dentistry and we think he should do 4 Unit Math and I have heard that these difficult subjects are scaled up, so Karr would get better marks? Is that true?
HM: No, I think he should concentrate on his stronger subjects. And it’s common perception that scaling increases your TER score. Now what actually happens is that all courses in the HSC are given the mean percentage. This applies, whether the courses are Math, Math in Society or 4 Unit Math.
I: (to M) …………………………..
HM: (cont) Scaling depends upon the mean and ability of the course candidates. And it may be true that students who choose to do Math in practice are of the lesser ability than students who choose to do 4 Unit Math. So if the course has students in it who are above the average they will be scaled down, and if there are students who are below the average, they will be scaled up.
I: (to M- hesitant, in Cantonese)…. (with subtitles on the screen) scaling depends on the ability of the candidate, but students who choose 4 Unit Math are probably better… Students who are doing worse than others will be scaled up.
M: (in Cantonese — with subtitles) O I see. I’ll take him to 4 unit Math tutoring over the summer break. (…terus mengangguk dan pergi)…….
HM: What did you tell her?



The Use of Translation for English Teaching in Indonesia: An Attempt to Reclaim Its Legitimacy

by Futuh Handoyo, State Polytechnic of Malang


While the status of translation as a field of study is improving with increasing institutional standing, translation as learning and teaching device is still viewed with great suspicion. As a field of study, translation is learned by those who have acquired sufficient proficiency in second language with the purpose of becoming professional translators. As a tool of learning and teaching, translation is used as a technique in the process of acquiring the target language learned. Unluckily, the growing status of translation as a field of study does not automatically justify its rehabilitation as a language teaching instrument.
On the heyday of Grammar Translation Method, translation played a central role in language classroom. The method gained wide acceptance before its decline around the end of nineteenth century along with the advent of Direct Method (Omaggio, 1986). Since then translation for classroom use has been faced with objections of various kinds. The proponents of Direct Method argued that the goal of learning a second and or foreign language was the ability to communicate orally using the target language so the use of students’ native language was strongly prohibited. Audio Lingual Method, a subsequent popular method, also showed strong objection to the use of students’ native language in the classroom as they thought that students’ native language constituted a major source of interference, which would impede the successful process of acquiring the target language. Though not as strong as the above methods, Communicative Approach, which is still widely accepted nowadays, also have significant objection to the use of translation for classroom use. Most language teachers today have been the advocates of this method and largely avoid using translation in their teaching activities, although few of them begin to view it differently.
For a long time, foreign language teaching, particularly English language teaching, in non English departments in Indonesia has been swaying, going to where the winds of global mainstream methods blow, but until now there is still no record reporting significant improvement in the result. It has been a history of series of failures and disappointment. This seems to be the calling to approach the problem with more dignity and self confidence. Instead of just becoming loyal followers and consumers of global methods, experts and practitioners of language teaching in Indonesia should begin to dive into their own ocean directly, activating their own logic and intuition to probe real and actual problems and create genuine solutions. They should increase their understanding on their own problems and contexts so if strategies, methods, or approaches should be adopted or adapted from out there, consideration should be made on their suitability much more than on their worldwide acceptance.
The main objectives of this paper are, first, to reassess the role of translation in English pedagogy for Indonesian context and, second, to describe the case example of how translation is used to teach grammar for more productive purposes.

First objection
Translation should be avoided because the goal of foreign language teaching nowadays is to help learners to develop communicative competence, primarily spoken communication, while translation only works to develop the learners’ ability to understand written language. This is a typical criticism imposed by the proponents of Direct Method to Grammar Translation Method. This is obviously not fair to blame translation simply because the method that uses translation as its central technique does not serve the goal that is not its own goal. Translation has been abandoned due to the outdated ness of Grammar Translation Method orientation, not due to its own evil. Translation should not have been treated as a victim until hard efforts are made to adjust how it is used with the new language orientation.

Second objection
Translation should be rejected as it is a source of language interference which will result in language deviation. This is criticism from the proponents of Audio Lingual Method, who believe that language is habit formation. As they see it, wrong habits and deviation of any kinds should be avoided as early as possible, otherwise they will be very hard to eradicate. This criticism is, in fact, not realistic as a number of studies have convinced that errors are inevitable and even believed as an indicator of progress. Not even single human being can acquire language without making deviation even when he learns his native language.

A process of acquiring new language, then, should be seen as a process of acquiring successive dialects or language systems which have distinct features from the learners’ native language or target language, with the early systems being closer to their native language and the later systems to their target language. These successive language systems are referred to, in most literatures, as interlanguages (Selinker, 1974).
Learners of early interlanguage stages or beginners still have very limited skill and knowledge about the target language so they tend to use their previous mother tongue as a means to organize the target language data (Brown, 1978).. Therefore, in these stages, interference from native language is unavoidable and the learners will transfer their L1 features to their L2, in spite of prohibition whatsoever. The interlingual deviations will diminish gradually as their competence in L2 is increasing. Thus, it is a waste of time telling the early learners not to translate as it is unrealistic and against their instinct. To reduce the problems of interference, learners are not to block them but to go through them.

First argument
Most students, if not all, still have early interlanguage level and, thus, the pull of interference is still very strong. They still largely rely on Indonesian when producing English so they need to be guided how to do it properly.
Second argument
Comprehensible language input is very limited so the chance for incidental learning to take place is low and, in turns, the chance for progress to naturally proceed beyond early interlanguage stage is also low. Deliberate efforts on both sides, the students and the teachers, are necessary to avoid premature fossilization. Lack of grammatical competence has high risk of early fossilization and translation is potential to improve grammatical competence.

Third argument
All students and teachers come from the same native language background so translation strategy has high aspect of practicality. Potential difficulties that are rooted in L1 interference is possible to predict using contrastive linguistic and, thus, material selection and grading can be made for class.

Conscious vs. subconscious grammar
The terms conscious and subconscious grammar was coined by Stephen Krashen. Conscious grammar refers to grammar competence that is accomplished through conscious process of learning and usually in formal setting with language form as its focus, while subconscious grammar is grammar competence that is acquired subconsciously in natural setting with language meaning as its focus. He claimed that only acquired subconscious grammar competence can give contribution to productive ability, while learned conscious grammar competence only operates as monitoring agent. In addition, He also views that conscious and subconscious knowledge are entirely distinct with the result that conscious competence is not convertible into subconscious competence (Dulay and Krashen, 1982)
The above distinction has also been made by some other authors and variously referred to as declarative-procedural by Anderson, static-dynamic by Diana Larsen Freeman, controlled-automatic processing by Mclaughin and explicit-implicit by Rod Ellis. However, they are different from Krashen in that they believe that conscious grammar competence can be converted into subconscious grammatical competence. Therefore, unlike Krashen, who holds that explicit grammar teaching is not required and, thus, proposes zero-grammar instruction, they indicate its necessity.
Subconscious or implicit grammar competence can be acquired inductively through subconsciously generalizing substantial language input the learners are exposed to, or deductively through internalizing what they have learned consciously. The first, then, is called generalized subconscious or implicit grammar competence and the latter is called internalized subconscious or implicit grammar competence.

Theoretical framework: Anderson’s Cognitive Automaticity Theory
Anderson describes the route through which explicit or conscious knowledge is transformed into implicit or subconscious knowledge. Instead of using the terms explicit and implicit knowledge, he introduced the concept of declarative knowledge and procedural knowledge. In order to bring declarative knowledge into use, or to convert explicit knowledge into implicit knowledge, there are three stages to go through, cognitive stage, associative stage, and autonomous stage (O’Malley, retrieved 2008).

During the cognitive stage, the learner is instructed or self learn the rules to do a certain task consciously and result in a sort of declarative knowledge, which he or she can describe verbally. In this stage, the learner gets intellectual understanding on how to do the task but it is still inadequate for skilled performance. The knowledge is stored in short-term memory, which is capacity-limited. During the second or associative stage, two main changes occur along the process of converting the declarative into procedural knowledge. The learner begins to attempt to put his or her learned declarative knowledge in use. However, he or she still makes a lot of errors, which are gradually detected and eliminated along the course of practice. Besides, the connections among the various components required for successful performance are strengthened. This is a slow process and the ultimate result is that declarative knowledge is now turned into its procedural form or proceduralized. During the third or autonomous stage, the learner’s performance becomes increasingly fine-tuned. Performance of the skill becomes virtually spontaneous and automatic and errors inhibiting successful performance disappear. The force on the part of the learner becomes more effortless and less conscious. The knowledge now is stored in long-term memory, which is capacity-unlimited. In short, declarative knowledge can be learned in one trial but a skill can only be mastered after relatively long period of practice.

Anderson’s three stage processing matches PPP teaching procedure, in which Cognitive stage relates to Presentation, Associative stage to Practice, and Autonomous stage to Produce. Out of the three stages, it is obvious that the second stage constitutes the most complex and crucial stage because it is exactly there the process of converting knowledge to skill is in progress; consequently, in PPP procedure the Practice step constitutes the most challenging step. Mechanical drill in Audio-Lingual Approach and communicative drill in Communicative Language Teaching with their repetition seem to be designed to serve this purpose. Therefore, it makes sense to say that the success of converting knowledge into skill depends largely on whether the learners make a lot of practice or not.

General Principles:
1). Deductive grammar teaching is seen as complementary to inductive grammar teaching and consciousness raising.
2). Grammar items to be taught deductively should be selected only those that are basic and global and have strong role in comprehensibility. Other complicated details are left to subconscious acquisition process and consciousness raising through communicative activities in Speaking and Reading classes.
3). Though distinguishable, conscious learning is not separable from subconscious acquisition. Grammar items learned consciously can subsequently be put into the subconscious or made automatic through three stages described by Anderson.
4). Form-meaning connection should be made to enhance acquisition.
5). Grammar teaching should focus on facilitating students’ interlanguage development.
6). Translation practice should not be done on surface structure or syntactic level only but on semantic level.
7). The Indonesian expressions to be translated should be those that the students are likely to use, instead of standard Indonesian only.
8). Written drill should complement oral drill to reduce the students’ being too exhausted.
7). Students’ positive attitude and their active participation in teaching and learning activities play a very important role in learning success.

General procedure
The procedure of the teaching is basically deductive, proceeding from rule conscious understanding, which constitutes short term memory, to rule subconscious internalization, which is long term memory. In spite of hard criticism, the technique adapts the variant of Audio Lingual procedure which is often referred to as PPP. PPP stands for Presentation, Practice, and Produce.
Since grammar has delayed effect and, hence, takes long time to be reflected in language natural production, the target in this teaching is only to improve the students’ speed in translating Indonesian sentences orally. In Practice stage, a grammar rule consisting of mainly form and meaning is presented deductively using Indonesian language. In Practice stage, unlike in its original practice which focuses on mechanical drill such as substitution drill, etc., more cognitive practice in the form of translating Indonesian expressions into English is given. The early part of practice is focused to reinforce the students understanding. The effect of the practice is observed thoroughly to monitor the students’ conscious understanding and error correction, therefore, is often made. The later part is focused on internalizing the conscious understanding to more subconscious competence. In this stage, the speed of the practice is increased gradually and correction is focused more on students’ mistakes. Finally, Produce stage is used to test the result.
Since learning-acquisition category is seen as a continuum, there is no clear-cut demarcation border between conscious learning and internalization stage. The movement from reinforcing conscious understanding to internalizing the conscious understanding constitutes a fading emphasis from the heavy weight of conscious learning proceeding gradually to that of subconscious internalization.

Sample learning scenario
Topic : Full verbs vs. verbs be
Objectives : 1. Students are able to identify propositions that require verbs be and those that do not.
2. Students are able to translate propositions that require verbs be and those that do not into grammatical English sentences.
Procedure : 1. The teacher explains about the rules of basic English sentences (sentences with be and without be) by comparing with the corresponding Indonesian sentences.
2. The teacher trains the students to be able to judge very quickly whether a sentence requires be or not. First, the class is divided into groups of five or so, then they are given ten Indonesian sentences, some of which require be and some others do not when translated into English. What is required from them is only write be (is, am or are) or verb (go or goes etc.) For example, for the sentence Ayahku di rumah, they should write is, and for the sentence Ibu kerja di bank, they should write only works
3. The students submit their work (one work for one group). The teacher corrects their work and gives it back to discuss in the groups.
4. The teacher asks the groups to translate the complete sentences and submit to him to correct and give back to them.
5. The teacher dictates another ten Indonesian sentences and tells the students to work individually translating the sentences into English. In order that the students focus their attention on grammatical problem, they may ask the teacher about difficult vocabulary, if any. They, then, submit their work and the teacher correct the work at home.




Brown, H. Douglas 1987. Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc

Ellis, Rod. 2001. The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Dulay, Heidi., & Krashen .Stephen. 1982. Language Two. New York: Oxford University Press

Llantada, M Carmen Perez. 2007. New Trends in Grammar Teaching: Issues and Application: An Interview with Prof . Diana Larsen-Freeman. ATLANTIS 29.1. Retrieved August, 2008 fromérez-Llantada.pdf

Omaggio, Alice C. 1986. Teaching Language in Context. Heinle & Heinle Publishers Inc.

O’Malley, J. Michael, et al. Some Application of Cognitive Theory to Second Language Acquisition. Retrieved August, 2008 from

Selinker.1974. Interlanguage, in Jack Richard (ed), Error Analysis Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition,). London: Longman Group Limited,

Language Use and Choice in Jember- Javanese Speakers A Study on Intercultural Communication

by Alies Poetri Lintangsari

University of Brawijaya, Malang


Nowadays, we cannot put stereotype on people based on culture since we are tangled into various discourse systems. Culture is no longer considered as a product of people’s life, it goes further to the latest notion that culture is a heuristic, “a tool for thinking”, by this; our culture cannot be formulated based on our ethnicity. Culture on this definition is not only reflecting the communal identity but also individual identity.

Language as one of cultural tools also play role in shaping people identity. People, since they share many discourse systems, also acquire many languages that can be picked up to communicate and they may pick the tools as their necessity to use it. Language works two functions in communication, to convey information or to express relationship. Language choice is critical to fulfill both of function. Jemberan speakers in this discussion are the ones who consider themselves as Jember people intertwined by various cultural identities such as Madura, Chinese, Javanese and Arabic. This paper aims to study language choice used in Jemberan speakers’ communication to know the motives behind.


Language Use and Choice in Intercultural Communication

                The term ‘Intercultural Communication’ as explained by Scollon and Scollon (2000,2001) is how persons manage to come the complexity of various different systems faced during communication. Those complexities come from various backgrounds such as gender, social political background, geographical background, educational background, and religious background, people live in it, and they develop and learn the acceptable pattern to be involved in society. They learn languages and varieties in their development, and then lead them to the cyclical question, how they navigate their identity through membership? Language use and choice might be raised as an answer.

Language use and choice is unavoidably in intercultural communication since it entails the use of various languages or language varieties and there are many differential accesses for speakers to enjoy them. Language use is critical in achieving effective understanding on linguistic situation in a multilingual discourse system like Jemberan speakers. When those speakers have access of two or more languages, they make choices as to when, where, how and to whom they use a certain language. The choices speakers make will determine their capability in using language to fulfill its two functions, first is showing their identity in membership, and second is to shape their membership identity.

Bahasa Jemberan: Linguistic Varieties of Pandalungan

In doing communication people are using a code; they share their codes into their addressee as the communicative tools. Therefore, code can be meant as the system of communication that has a function as communicative tools. As communicative tools, code cannot solely be meant as a ‘Language’, as explained by Duranti, in his book entitled Linguistic Anthropology (1997) that today we have to be careful in defining between Language and a language:

“It is important to distinguish between “language” and “a language.” The former refers to the human faculty to communicate using particular types of signs (e.g. sounds, gestures) organized in particular types of units (e.g. sequences) and the latter refers to a particular sociohistorical product, identifiable with a label such as “English,” “Tok Pisin,” “Polish,” “Swahili,” “Chinese,” “American Sign Language,” “Sign English.”” (Duranti, 1997)


The first definition lead us to understand Language as the ability of doing communication while a language refers to specific communicative tools on the basis of social and cultural context. A language is not only considered as the cultural product but also the cultural agent that builds the identity of a certain community, the college students for instance, though they are involved to the same community, there will be a different code between male and female students. Those differences are not merely due to the language, but also due to dialect, register, and even style as sociolinguist call it as linguistic varieties (Andersen 1990; Biber and Finegan 1994 in Duranti 1997).

The term variety will lead us to the study of linguistic repertoire and speech community. As originally introduced by Gumperz (1964: 137), linguistic repertoire refer to “the totality of linguistic forms regularly employed in the course of socially significant interaction. “ (Duranti, 1994). Repertoire is considered as the speaking properties owned by all speakers by regarding one life’s experience.

Jember is known as melting pot regency where many ethnic groups are mingled. Most of Jember population are Javanese and Madura people and small percentage of Tionghoa, Osing, Arabic and Indian. It includes to Pandalungan culture since its most population are Javanese and Madura people. Etymologically, referring to Bausastra Jawa Indonesia II (Prowiroatmojo, 1985), Pandalungan is a Javanese word for dalung which means periuk besar (big pot). Symbolically, ‘periuk besar’ can be defined as a place where all kinds of society groups are mingled and living together. According to the illustration above, it can be imagined how many linguistic varieties may develop in Jember.

Pandalungan refers to the mixing of two big cultures, Javanese and Madura, remembering that both cultures are majority in the referred areas.   There is no certain time when Pandalungan is used to represent the hybrid cultures of Javanese and Madura, but the society commonly call people as ‘orang pandalungan’ when s/he is grown up in that hybrid circumstance. Hary Yuswadi (2005:101) defined Pandalungan as : (1). Sebuah percampuran antara budaya jawa dan Madura, (2). Masyarakat Madura yang lahir di Jawa dan beradaptasi dengan budaya Jawa.

Javanese and Madura as the majority ethnic in Pandalungan society in Jember contribute more to the language in daily use. Bahasa Jemberan is socially known as the daily language of Jember people, it is created by the combination of Javanese and Madura language. Bahasa Jemberan may be classified into dialect rather than language since the words come as the combination of Javanese and Madura, such as Koen (you) which is the combination of Kowe (Javanese) and Be’en (Madura). The characteristic of Bahasa Jemberan dialect (usually pronounced in Madura accent) deals with the ethnic identity, such as Javanese with Jemberan dialect,   Chinese with Jemberan dialect, Arabic with Bahasa Jemberan and so on. As the majority, Javanese and Madura language are most used in daily life. The words are hybrid of Javanese at most than Madura while the variety of the language usage is close to the Madura (i.e. by repeating the last syllable in the preceding words such as nak kanak) . Here below some examples of Bahasa Jemberan dialect:


                It is a case study on Jemberan speakers which is analyzed qualitatively. Since it is qualitative research, researcher is the main instrument; other instruments are recording tool and transcribing software. The basic questions raised in this study are:

  1. Which languages are used in language contact, Jemberan, Javanese, Indonesia, Madura or English?
  2. What is the language choices found in the conversation?
  3. What are the motives behind the language use and choice?
  4. What is the influence of social factors on the language use and language choice?

This study will be discussed through following steps:

  1. Transcribing the audio data from conversation record.
  2. Analyzing the differences of participants’ background.
  3. Breaking down the grammar of context
  4. Analyzing aspects of discourse system occurred in conversation.
  5. Analyzing the speech events occurred in conversation.
  6. Analyzing the face system existed in the conversation.
  7. Analyzing language use and choice.



                The participants of this discussion have different background, but they share the same discourse system namely they were English department of Faculty of Letters in Jember University and they grown up in Jember. Here below the details information:

  1. Arif : 27, Male, University Student, active speaker of Madura, Javanese, and Bahasa Indonesia, Use English as Educational purposes.
  2. Yofan : 26, Male, University Student, active speaker of Javanese, and Bahasa Indonesia, passive speaker of Madura, Use English as Educational purposes.
  3. Lintang: 26, Female, University Student, active speaker of Javanese, and Bahasa Indonesia, passive speaker of Madura, Use English as Educational purposes


Scene    : Scene is considered as the most obvious aspect of context. Scene is consisted into some aspects, the first is setting that can be meant as physical location, time, place, and use of space.   The second is the purpose or the function. The third is topic, and the last is genre.

The setting of this conversation is in kedai kopi cak wang, at night (from 21.00 to 24.00 WIB). Kedai Kopi Cak Wang is a café coffee designed traditionally as the common kedai kopi in Indonesia, such as there is no aesthetic touch in this kedai kopi, the interior is so simple with long bench and big table that allow the customer sit in group. The interior design is different to modern café coffee that most adapted from European design. Although Kedai Kopi Cak Wang is traditionally designed, but they use the modern concept of transaction, they adopted fast food way in doing the transaction. The customer should come to the cashier to order the beverage and also pay their bill, after that they can find a set, do some chat while waiting their coffee come.

As one aspect of communication, spaces used in this conversation is more to have the characteristic of egalitarian, everyone has their own spaces and freedom to occupy the spaces. Everyone in this conversation has had the same understanding of what topic will be discussed since they have communicated before the meeting happens. The form of speech events in this conversation is informal meeting, in Javanese this activity usually called as ngopi (having coffee time). Though ngopi refers to the activity of drinking coffee, this kind of activity is not merely signified by that. The activity is more to the discussion or having a light chat. Since it is informal meeting, there is no conventional rules to start the meeting, but youths usually starts the meeting by ordering the coffee and waste their waiting time by chatting.

Key        : It refers to the tone or mode of communication. Since it is informal meeting, the key of this conversation is relaxed. There are no certain rules to involve to the conversation; everyone/every group usually have their own unwritten rules just for improving intimacy. This kind of mode usually involves the real face of the participant since every members of speech events are close each other.

Participants        : There are three speakers in this conversation; Arif, Yofan and I. Participants are not merely the matters of whom are they but also how they play or take roles in conversation. According to this conversation, I am the one who lead the topic while my two other friends responding my initial speech. But when the conversation went on, Arif dominated the conversation more than me and Yofan, he wanted to be heard more than to hear.

Message Form  : This conversation took form in oral conversation.

Sequence            : It is an open agenda since it is an informal meeting, there are no specific sequences that tied the activity. Though there are no specific sequences tied the activity, the understanding of conventional sequence to this activity is needed to help us to be well involved to the activity. For new comer like me, be there is a kind of confusion, at first I thought that it will be like ngopi in other places, but since the place is designed traditionally, I thought there will be the same sequence as I did ngopi in other traditional kedai kopi. When we ngopi in traditional kedai kopi, the seller will offer us the menu while she/he revealing some jokes or just asking how’s life, there is communicative communication between the seller and the customer. As I had that thought, so the first thing I did was finding my seat until my friend Yofan, asked me to go to the cashier first, he asked me to choose my beverage and pay it, after that we find our seat and have some chat while waiting our coffee. As a new comer, I was confused because my shared knowledge of ngopi in kedai kopi.

Co-occurrence pattern  : I can consider that this speech event is unmarked since everything run as predicted. When people go to have ngopi time, they will have some prediction that ngopi in this kind of kedai kopi will end up with chatting, laughing, and smoking and of course, drinking coffee.

Manifestation   : Those communication components above are manifested tacitly. Every members of the group who was familiarized with ngopi activity will understood the components since they belong to. New comer will also recognize the sequence of ngopi easily though it is unwritten.


                Discourse System has 4 aspects as outlined by Scollon, Scollon and Jones (2012). To make the dialogues go together, a Discourse System should be tied in coherence. There are 4 components that tie the cohesiveness in Discourse System. First is a cohesive device that has function to cover any aspect of language or context that a speaker can use to indicate connection among elements (Scollon, Scollon and Jones, 2012). Second is called as adjacency sequences, it is regular sequencing pattern that is learnt, predicted, and expected from a Discourse System. Third is prosodic patterning, which makes oral Discourse, become so oral by considering intonation and timing. The fourth component is conversational inference (Gumperz in Scollon, Scollon and Jones, 2012) that shape Discourse into logical or cognitive Structure. The analysis on coherence will be drawn below:

Cohesive Devices            : Lexical and Grammatical

Cohesive devices which will be discussed cover some components, namely Reference, Verb Form, Conjunction, and Causal Conjunction. Some references found in the dialogues emerge in Bahasa Indonesia. The reference ini found in speech act 1 until 4 refer to the same subject, kopi banjir. In the second speech act, the word ada is elliptically replacing the reference ini since the speaker using his finger pointing to the coffee.

                Giving information about Kopi Banjir Speech Event 1
Lintang Oh ini kopi banjir(Oh.. so it is called kopi banjir (flood Coffee) Speech Act 1
Yofan Ada dimalang?(Can you find it in Malang?) Speech Act 2
Lintang Ada, ini kan gaya French Press.(Yup, it is called French Press style). Speech Act 3
Arif La ini nanti kalo mau minum taruh bawah aja dibalik(If you want to drink, put it under) Speech Act 4

Reference used also found in Javanese, the word ngunu which means that in English refers to the word ceritamu (story).

Lintang Yak ceritamu, ceritamu(How is your story?) Speech Act 1
Yofan Hehe.. yo ngunu, di bully(hehe.. my story was about bullying) Speech Act 2

Since in Bahasa Indonesian and Javanese we do not have tense, there is no critical impact of the usage of verb form in the dialogue, we just add the tense by adding time signal such as kemarin (yesterday), besok (tomorrow), and others without any verb formation. Such us the word kemaren in speech act below refers to the examination which has been done previous weeks ago.

Arif Gak opo yo, lek yang, yang, opo, bu supik itu kan ngomong, jadi kan mas Arif, ini kan kemaren….(pause)(No, emm.. Bu Supik has said, “So, Mas Arif has got..(pause)


Conjunction found in the dialogue emerges in various languages such as English, Bahasa Indonesia, and Javanese. Such as the word mbek Arif uttered mean and. But the word mbek has multiple meaning, in some context it can be meant with.

Arif sing jenenge pak eko mbek pak imam ngguya ngguyu ae ndelok i aku(Pak Eko and Pak Imam just laughed aloud looked at me) The word mbek in this speech act means and and play as additive conjunction.
Arif yo nyanyi lagu metal iku, nyanyi mbek berok berok ngunu, guyon wong wong iku(I sung metal song, sung loudly, he joked me) The word mbek in this speech act means with and play as adverb.


Cognitive Schemata and Scripts: As a new comer, I failed in understanding the script of ngopi activity in kedai kopi cak wang. My world knowledge according to ngopi activity in kedai kopi (traditional coffee café) is different to the real script I had. Though the processes are the same, but they had some difference in sequential order as described here below:

Steps My Expectation based on my world knowledge The real Script I faced
I Find a seat I went to the cashier
I determine my order I determined my order
I let waiter to note my order I told the waiter about my order
I wait my order I paid my order
I receive my order I find a seat
I enjoy my order I wait my order
I pay my order I receive my order


Adjacency Sequences: Since the dialogues happen sporadic, it is hard to find the adjacency sequences in dialogue. The one can be figured out is in question mark expression. It is expected that answer comes up as question be raised, but sometimes the answer was postponed since there were speaker who jumped into another topic. The adjacency sequences in this dialogue are unpredictable since we do not have any fixed sequences. Although the sequences in this dialogue are unpredictable, but it is not influencing the degree of coherence massively though sometimes among speakers should confirming their understanding on each other utterances.

Prosodic Patterning        : Most of the mood of intonation and timing in the dialogue are in relaxed. Sometimes the intonation that stressing to some expression happen when the speakers quoting or recount their experience in facing their final examination. The intonation more tends to imitate rather that to express their personal feeling.


Speech Event in Jemberan speakers’ language contact

                Some speech event has been discussed in the previous discussion; some other will be discussed in the following discussion. Since speech events and speech act is the source of data, it will be attached to other discussion. Speech events in this conversation generally can be called as ngopi. It consists of several speech events such as the speech events of opening the meeting, recount the story and gossiping. The rest of speech events will be discussed in the discussion of Language use and choice.

Opening Ngopi Speech Event 1
Lintang Ayo!!, lapo awakmu beban kok entok A?.(C’mon,,!! How could getting A be a burden for you? Speech Act 1
Arif Gak opo yo, lek yang, yang, opo, bu supik itu kan ngomong, jadi kan mas Arif, ini kan kemaren….(pause)(No, emm.. Bu Supik has said, “So, Mas Arif has got..(pause) Speech Act 2
Lintang Oh ini kopi banjir(Oh.. so it is called kopi banjir (flood Coffee) Speech Act 3
Yofan Ada dimalang?(Can you find it in Malang?) Speech Act 4


The recording was recorded for about two months ago when I went home. I initiated the meeting to have some stories from my friends since they just finished their under graduate students for 7 years. Since it is informal meeting, everything flows without any definite sequence. Lintang was the first person who initiated to open ngopi activity by saying Ayo!! Lapo awakmu beban kok entok A. The exclamation Ayo means let’s talk your story about the final examination. For us, the graduation story is worthwhile to be heard. The second speech act was the response of Arif to the first questions, he started to tell his graduation story when my order came and I changed the topic from graduation to coffee. My comment to my coffee was responded by Yofan by asking Ada di Malang? (Can you find it in Malang?). The shifting topic happened when my order came and it became new topic to discuss since I found that kopi banjir was out of my expectation. I expected that kopi banjir should be more phenomenal than only the other name of coffee served with French press style.


                Face is considered as paradoxical concepts; it cannot solely meant by keeping the ‘honor’ or the effort of making assumption of speakers’ meaning by predicting their face made, another concept refers to face as the self manifestation of the speakers to be judged as their expectation through the face made. Face is intertwined on those concepts. Face in communication show two sides, involvement and independence. Since the participants are close friends, there is no independence strategies found in the dialogue. The involvement aspect of face is concerned with the persons’ right and need to be considered a normal, contributing, or supporting member society. Some strategies used in showing involvement by paying attention to others, show strong interest in the affairs, and using nick name or just name without any title such as mbak or mas. (in English they usually using first name to show intimacy). In my cases, people who just meet me usually call me by my first name Alies, when they feel comfort and pretty close with me, they will call me by my nick name, Lintang. In this dialogue all participants used given names/nick name to address each other.

Some strategies found in the dialogue according to involvement such as noticing and attending to the speakers shown by the rapid dialogue and some changing in small topic. It also found claim in group membership by the Javanese word awakdewe which means all of us (Table 1). Another strategy found is claim common opinion and attitude. When I told my story, both of my addresses claim my opinion and attitude toward my stories (Table 2).

Table 1.

Arif Asline, opo sing awakdewe entok dino iki iku, yo kelakuane awakdewe wingi wingi. Arif consider that what happens to him is a communal problem that also happens to us (I and Yofan).

Table 2.

Lintang intine semua pertanyaan bisa kujawab dengan baik, baringono wes maringono, pak karno takon, apa bedanya a, an, the dan tidak pake artikel(The point is I passed all the questions well until Pak Karno asked what are the differences among a, an, the and no article?) I told my story to my addresses that I thought I failed my exam because of the article question.
Yofan Hahahahhahha (Laughing loudly) Claim in my stupidity by laughing loud and consider that as a silly one rather than stupid.
Lintang lo gak ngerti ta lah aku lo, wes lali(I don’t know, I forgot) Confirming my stupidity
Arif Wes lali ta la, iku wes skip telong (3) semester koyok e yo,(Sure you forgot, it has been taught in 3rd semester I think) Claiming my stupidity as a common thing remembering that the lesson has been taught in the early semester and it is ok if I forgot it.



                This discussion will be started by classifying the topics occurred in the dialogue, there are 6 topics occurred in the dialogues;

  1. Arif’s story
  2. Yofan’s Story
  3. Lintang’s Story
  4. Gossiping

The shifting topic will influence the language use and choice. Some choices are using code switching and code mixing. The language use and choice determines the purpose of the speakers to stress their feeling of the story. They usually use English when they recount their story about their final examination, then shifted into Javanese or Indonesia when they started to gossiping. Some word and phrases used Madura or the equivalence reasons.

Data as the basis of discussion is served in tables below. The blue color indicates the usage of Javanese and the red one indicates the usage of English, while the black is the usage of Bahasa Indonesia. In the Topic 1 dialogue, Arif used some code switching to address some academic terms such as thesis and report. While in topic 2, we can see that Javanese used to commenting or responding the story while the speaker (Yofan) narrated his own story, while he used English when he recounted his story to simulate his real condition when face the examination. In topic 3, such previous pattern of the code switching used also found with the same purpose, to recount. The Javanese word used by Yofan showed solidarity to what I have experienced. For gossiping, the speakers tend to use Javanese and Bahasa Indonesia. In term of gossiping, speakers used Jemberan word such as Koen (acronym of Kowe/Javanese and Be’en/Madura). The rest speech events are uttered in code switching and mixing among Javanese, Jemberan, Madura and Bahasa Indonesia. Such as the word gengguk said by Arif that means trivial or unimportant, he thought that the word gengguk cannot be represented with any language. He also used English word Catchy to explain his reason of using the word gengguk instead of iseng.

Table. 3 . Shifting Topic in Dialogue

Topic 1 : Arif’s Story
Arif       : yo tang, jadi bu supik ngomong, ini kan kemarin sidang mas Arif dapet A, jadi mau gak mau segala bentuk report yang ada di thesis ini harus semuanya perfect, jareneLintang : Segala bentuk opoArif        : Segala bentuk reportLintang : Report?

Arif        : thesis ini kan report kan, hasil kan?. Jadi koyo penggunaan kata will itu di coret semua, di coret, trus opoan ada beberapa tadi sing tak benerin


Topic 2 : Yofan’s Story
Yofan    :yo, sing pertama langsung penguji 2 kan, penguji pertama aku pak sam, pas sam nguji dulu. hari jumat nyaLintang :oh sendiriYofan    :ditanya, iso gak eroh opo sing tak omong no koen.Nggak tau apa yang akan aku katakan pas di tanyain pertanyaan pertama, why do you choose this topic,   wes onok mbak, cuman akhire mbulet, ngomong ndek tengah, mandek, i.. i.. need more time to answer, aku di bantu sama bu riskia, di pancing pancing ngunu lo mbak, cek eleng aku, trus eleng aku wes. maringono gilirane bu indah penguji 3..di takoni, what is conjucntion, trus mintak contoh mbak, can you show me the example of the using of conjunction in target language, yes i can, i will give you the example mam, i have the sentence in appendix, nah appendix ku itu g ada halamannya mbak, may i say it mam, di buka halamannya, nah kalimatku itu di halaman belakang sendiri, nah yang dibuka bu indah itu halaman pertama, yang mana? katanya, you need to open the page mam, nda gelem mbak, ndak gelem .


Topic 3 : Lintang’s Story
Yofan    :Takon opo ae tapi?Lintang: Takon konsep, takon teori, takon sembarang kalir, sesuatu yang ketika bimbingan beliau tidak pernah ungkit, begitu di ruang sidang, ditakoni kuabeh dari awal sampe akhir. wes mari, jare pak karno, kan onok aqua nang ngarepku yo, sampek, misale, bener bener gak ono rehat iku, rehat iku gak ono, jadi misale bu mei nanya aku jawab, aku jawab bu mei nanya lagi, ngunu terus uncal uncalan, dan beliau sama sekali ga ngasih waktu sama yang lain, trus pas wes kate mari, kate takon meneh, mbek pak karno di potong, aku di kongkon ngombe disek, please drink your water, tak ombe,Yofan    : hahha, sakno (pity you)   à Javanese to Show solidarity Lintang : wes mari kan, di takoni mene mbek bu mei, srettt, aku cuman mikir ngene, wadoh rek, kok iso e, beliau kan pembimbingku ya, dari sekian banyak orang, kok malah beliau yang menghabisi, trus mari bu mei, bu supik takon, ngomong opo yo? bu supik ngomong i think bu mei has asked all the questions, i have nothing to ask.


Topic 4 : Gossiping 1
The dialogue was interrupted while Yofan recognized a sexy girl passed in front of us,Arif                         : Koen lak nggudoi iku, perkorone, ndek ranah pengadilan agamaYofan                    : wah..Lintang                                 :kok isok?

Yofan                    :Wes nikah..

Lintang                                 : Hah?

Yofan                    :Wes nikah berarti.

Lintang                 : Oh..

Topic 4 : Gossiping 2
Arif         :lak pas enak enak ngomong jowo nang jember, trus aku ngomong iseng, aneh tang dadine,Lintang :iseng iku gengguk iku?Lintang: Jadi tujuane karena kebiasaan atau?Arif         : koyok kegiatane ibu ibu rasan rasan iku jenenge kegiatan gengguk.

Lintang : Seandainya kamu ke malang atau ke surabaya masih menggunakan kata gengguk atau tidak?

Arif         : koyok e se sek tak gawe dan bakalan ditanyain artinya apa

Lintang : trus kenapa? karna tidak sadar atau sengaja?

Arif         : tidak sadar koyok e, soale lak aku ngomong nang omah iku gae bahasa indonesia mbek wong tuwoku mbek adekku iku gawe bahasa indonesia, cuman di beberapa diksi, tetep meduro, kata kata meduro, mungkin karna catchy yo bagi keluargaku, kata kata



This study comes up with some questions; Which languages are used in language contact, Javanese, Indonesia, Madura or English?; What is the language choices found in the conversation?; What are the motives behind the language use and choice?; What is the influence of social factors on the language use and language choice?

From the discussion above, I can draw a conclusion for answering every questions. Most of language used in dialogue is Jemberan such as the usage of koen and awakdewe refers to pronoun you and us. Javanese also used in the dialogue, but it is hard to recognize it as high or low Javanese, so I prefer to call it as Jember Javanese. Bahasa Indonesia also mostly used in dialogue and also English. Some motives found of the usage the language choice by code switching and code mixing, the topic shifting signalize the shifting of language. For instance, if the speakers recounted their story, they tended to use Bahasa Indonesia, while they tried to quote and imitate their lecturers they would choose Bahasa Indonesia or English. And when the topic shift into commenting or gossiping, they tended to use Jember Javanesse, in some cases, Jember Javanesse also used to show solidarity. Some influence factors influencing language use and choice relied on the participants’ background, since three of them are powering English for educational purposes, they used it to recounted and simulated their story which was uttered in English, in this term language has fulfilled its function to convey information. Jember Javanesse and Bahasa Indonesia is their social and cultural background, they use both languages on the daily basis. It is the reason why they feel more comfortable to use Jember Javanese and Indonesia Javanese to express relationship.


Duranti, Alessandro. (2004). A Companion to Linguistic Anthropology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, Ltd.

Lintangsari, Alies. (2012). How Jember- Javanese speakers represent their world. On college assignment.

Lintangsari, Alies. (2014). Code-Switching as a Conversational Strategy in Jemberan Multilingual Conversation. On college assignment

Meyerhoff, Miri. (2006). Introducing Sociolinguistics. London and New York: Routledge.

Prawiroatmodjo, S.1985. Bausastra Jawa—Indonesia I. Jakarta: Gunung Agung.

Scollon, Scollon, & Jones. (2012). Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach 3rd Edition. Wiley Blackwell

Wardhaugh, Ronald. (2003). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 5th Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Yuswadi, Harry. 2005. Melawan Demi Kesejahteraan, Perlawanan Petani Jeruk terhadap Kebijakan

Pembangunan Pertanian. Jember: Kompyawisda.

Quality Analysis of Translation of the First Chapter of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita

by Irene Nany K

A Candidate of Master in Applied Linguistics, University of Brawijaya, Indonesia


Lolita is a world famous novel written by Russian author, Vladimir Nabokov in 1955. Originally written in English, this novel is often considered as one of the three most influential novels in history. In penning the story, Vladimir uses numerous wordplay and delicate words that makes this novel not easy to be interpreted, though it has been translated into many languages, including Bahasa Indonesia. There are also dozens of allusions to Poe, Joyce, Flaubert, Shakespeare, Keats, Melville, and so on.

This novel tells about a thirty something widowed man of mixed European origins, initially named “Humbert Humbert”. He was born in Paris in 1910 and fell obsessively and desperately in love with a twelve years old American girl, Dolores Haze (Lolita). We are told, in the first paragraph on the “Foreword,” that “Humbert Humbert” died of a coronary thrombosis on November 16, 1952, just before the start of his trial for murder. His memoir, “Lolita or The Confessions of a White Widowed Male” are actually being presented to us by John Ray, Jr. The novel is comprised of sixty-nine chapters. Although, at first glance, Lolita may seem to be the account of a pedophile and murderer, it is really a love story and a tragic one at that. This novel, however, is notable for its controversial subjects.

The writer mainly chooses to take the first chapter of this novel for in that part the opening story is lyrical and genius. As like fulfilling its role to captivate the reader on the first page, the first chapter is exquisitely succeeded. The use of words show the extravagant passion of “Humbert Humbert” towards Lolita, instead of prose, the first chapter sounds more like poem. Therefore, the writer tries to annotate the translated version of Bahasa Indonesia that is converted by Anton Kurnia and published by Serambi Ilmu Semesta in 2008. On the translated version of Bahasa Indonesia, the writer found some rarely used words like sulbi or boyak. Aside from the word choice by the translator along the novel, the writer tries to annotate the translation product of chapter one using the translation assessment theory mainly from Mashadi Said (Universitas Gunadarma) and Juliane House who deals with Functional-Pragmatic Model of Translation Evaluation (Halidayan Approach).



Translation is a process of delivering or transferring information and message from one language to another. In the process of doing the translation, however, there are many aspects that influencing the translator to lose the poignant meaning, to cause perplexity, and to cause the same effect upon the Target Language reader compared to the Source Language reader. Along with the numerous translation products from foreign literature, translation theory developed fast during the second half of the 20th century, starting with the theory of Nida, Catford, and other theoretician (Hariyanto, 2013). The equivalency of the language meaning therefore, needs to be maintained (House, 2001).

According to Mashadi Said (2002) in his paper Menilai Terjemahan published in Jurnal Ilmiah Sastra Bahasa vol. 7 no. 2 (Dec. 2002), the quality parameter of a translation product depends on its accuracy, properness, and clarity:

Berkualitas tidaknya suatu terjemahan dapat ditentukan melalui tiga sudut pandang yaitu keakuratan, kejelasan, dan kewajaran. Keakuratan berarti sejauhmana pesan dalam teks bahasa sumber (TBsu) disampaikan dengan benar dalam teks bahasa penerima (TBp). Kejelasan berarti sejauhmana pesan yang dikomunikasikan dalam teks bahasa penerima dapat dipahami dengan mudah pembaca sasaran. Makna yang ditangkap pembaca TBsu sama dengan makna yang ditangkap pembaca TBp. Kewajaran berarti sejauhmana pesan dikomunikasikan dalam bentuk yang lazim, sehingga pembaca teks bahasa penerima terkesan bahwa naskah yang dibacanya adalah naskah asli yang ditulis dalam bahasanya sendiri.”

Nida and Taber (1982:13) quoted in Said (2002) argue that in order to maintain the accuracy of the message, a translator can change the grammatical structure of the sentence in the SL text: “… makna harus diutamakan karena isi pesanlah yang terpenting. … Ini berarti bahwa penyimpangan tertentu yang agak radikal dari struktur formal tidak saja dibolehkan, tetapi bahkan mungkin sangat diperlukan.

Among several ways in examining the product of translation, that are written on Said paper “Menilai Terjemahan” the writer mostly uses the feature of ‘back translation’ to examine the accuracy, properness, and clarity aspect of the TL text. For this is a simple method that can directly examine precision of the TL text.

Meanwhile according to Juliane House (2001), who use Halidayan approach in her way of assessing translation product, the process of translation must consider language or text through register (Field, Tenor , Mode ) and its genre:

“The assessment model (House 1997) is based on Hallidayan systemic-functional theory, but also draws eclectically on Prague school ideas, speech act theory pragmatics, discourse analysis and corpus-based distinctions between spoken and written language. It provides for the analysis and comparison of an original and its translation on three different levels: the levels of Language/Text, Register (Field, Mode and Tenor) and Genre.” (p. 247)

One paramount thing in translating text, according to House is the properness or naturalness of language in the TL text. It is the difficult task that needs to be accomplished by every translator in order to produce an excellent translation that is will be well received by the TL reader. To do so, one must have the adept skill and vast knowledge of the language and culture of both SL and TL text:

“Over and above its role as a concept constitutive of translation, “equivalence” is the fundamental criterion of translation quality. In an attempt to make “a case for linguistics in translation theory,” Ivir expresses the inherent relativity of the equivalence relation very well: “Equivalence is…relative and not absolute,…it emerges from the context of situation as defined by the interplay of (many different factors) and has no existence outside that context, and in particular it is not stipulated in advance by an algorithm for the conversion of linguistic units of L1 into linguistic units of L2” (1996: 155).” (p. 247)


In every word choice of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, it is notable that the author put brilliant effort in describing his main character, “Humbert Humbert,” as a luscious and passionate toward Lolita. The main character is not just in love but also deeply in lust. This message that delicately appears on its writing style and language, however, shall be maintained when one tries to translate this novel into the Target Language due to the equivalence aspect of translation (House, 2011).

To apply the translation assessment theory upon the analysis of Lolita’s first chapter, the writer initially discusses the ideational, interpersonal and textual aspects of this novel. According to House (2011), a translator must consider the functional approach (field, tenor and mode) of the text s/he dealing with. As it is written on the foreword, this novel is a memoir of “Humbert Humbert”, more precisely it is a confession of him as a murderer. The first chapter of this novel is written by “Humbert Humbert” to be read by the juries of the court, while the form of his message is written. Furthermore, the translation analysis regarding to the theory of Said (2002) that deals with accuracy, properness, and clarity, upon some prominent issues on the first chapter will be discussed subsequently.

In the first paragraph of the first chapter, even speaking Lolita’s name is a sensual experience for “Humbert Humbert”. It is the alliteration of a literal trip of his tongue through his mouth:

Source Language (English):

“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api sulbiku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lolita: ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi. Lo. Li. Ta”.

From this first paragraph, the writer argues that there are some words that are inaccurate. For example, In the TL the translator uses “api sulbi” for “fire of my loins”. Sulbi comes from Arabic language which means coccyx. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (henceforth MWD) coccyx means “a small bone that articulates with the sacrum and that usually consists of four fused vertebrae which form the terminus of the spinal column in humans and tailless apes.” While loins mean “a: the upper and lower abdominal regions and the region about the hips; b: the pubic region, the reproductive organs” (MWD). In other words, sulbi refers to the bone while ‘loin’ literally refer to the sexual organ, therefore, it refers to passion or lust. For this reason, the use of sulbi to convert ‘loin’ is inaccurate. Hence, the writer proposes the use of word hasrat, meaning ‘passion’ or ‘lust’ to translate the word ‘loin’ (see table: annotated translation).

The next issue form the first paragraph is the depiction of Lolita’s name. The translated version however, looses the intricate aspect that the character wants to express through his description of the process mentioning the name of the one he loves passionately. The translator uses the phrase “..mengeja tiga suku kata..”, if we apply back translation to assess this issue, the meaning will be “…spelling three syllables…” which do not occur in the SL text. The whole process of spelling the name Lolita however, tells the reader something more than just the process of mentioning someone’s name. The author wants to emphasize that even in spelling Lolita’s name, “Humbert Humbert” is aroused. In the Bahasa version the sentences are translated into “…ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi.” The phrase ‘taking a trip’ is changed into ‘mengeja tiga suku kata’ or ‘spelling three syllables’ which eliminate the adventurous sense of the action. Hence, the writer suggests the use of word ‘berkelana’ or ‘to wander’ for the phrase ‘taking a trip’.

In the second paragraph, there is one prominent issue on the use of words in the translated version that will be annotated.

Source Language (English):

“She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Dia adalah Lo yang biasa-biasa saja di pagi hari, setinggi seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan sebelah kaus kaki. Dia adalah Lola saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Dia adalah Dolly di sekolah. Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik. Namun dalam pelukanku dia adalah Lolita.”


The sentence ‘She was Dolores on the dotted line’ is literally translated into ‘Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik’. While the phrase ‘on the dotted line’ in English idiomatic expression that refers to official name on the legal documents, to translate it literally will be perplexing for the reader. Due to properness and clarity aspects of translation for the target reader, the writer proposes the use of ‘dokumen resmi’ to transfer the phrase ‘on the dotted line’ (see table: annotated translation).

In the third paragraph, there are two issues to be discussed. The first one relies on the first sentence:

Source Language (English):

“Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Apakah dia memang seorang titisan? Ya, pasti. Kenyataannya, tak bakal ada Lolita sama sekali jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah? Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu. Ah, kalian selalu bisa mengandalkan seorang pembunuh untuk menulis prosa yang indah.”

 The translated version of the first sentence ‘Did she have a precursor?’ into ‘Apakah dia memang seorang titisan?’ is rather inaccurate and unclear. In back translation, the sentence becomes ‘Is she a reincarnation?’ In fact, the author writing style is trying to hold the truth that the main character is going to reveal. It is not clear at first to what precursor the main character refers to. However, the next sentence explains that the precursor here refers to someone that he used to love in the past. Hence, the focus of the sentences is that special person in the past, whose identity is still unveiled. To translate it into ‘Is she a reincarnation?’ will shift the focus to Lolita itself, therefore the writer proposes the use of sentence ‘Apakah dia pernah dilahirkan dalam wujud orang lain sebelumnya?’ or in English it means ‘Had she she ever born before?’ to maintain the focus of the sentence in the SL text.

Still from the third paragraph, the next sentence that is going to be annotated is the sentence ‘…About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer’ which is translated into ‘…Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu.’ The sentence, however, is ambiguous in the TL text. In back translation the sentence will become ‘Years before Lolita was born that summer’. By the omission of the words ‘my age’ in the TL text, the message is not successfully transferred. The writer, therefore, proposes to provide the detail meaning in that sentence: ‘Kira-kira bertahun-tahun yang lalu, sebelum Lolita berusia sama denganku pada saat peristiwa musim panas itu terjadi.’

In the last paragraph of chapter one, the last sentence will be discussed:

Source Language (English):

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns.”

Target Language (Bahasa):

“Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, yang mula-mula akan kutunjukkan adalah apa yang dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang telah salah mengerti itu. Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini.”


In the last sentence of the TL text, it is obvious that the translator tries to maintain the characteristic of the author in using the wordplay in its SL text. However, the sentence ‘Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini’ does not sound quite natural in the TL text. The last sentence is actually the opening of the detail story that the main character is going to reveal, therefore the writer suggests to use clearer message in the TL text: “Marilah kita lihat jalinan kisah dari duri-duri yang membelit ini.

SL: English Version TL: Indonesian Version  Suggested Improved Translation
(1) Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. (1) Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api sulbiku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lolita: ujung lidah mengeja tiga suku kata, menyentuh langit-langit mulut, dan pada kali ketiga menyentuh gigi. Lo. Li. Ta. (1) Lolita, cahaya hidupku, api yang membakar hasratku. Dosaku, sukmaku. Lo-lii-ta: ujung lidahku berkelana menelusuri bagian bawah mulutku dengan tiga sentuhan mengeja namanya, pada sentuhan ketiga, naik menyentuh deretan gigiku. Lo.Lii. ta.
(2) She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four feet ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores onthe dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.  (2) Dia adalah Lo yang biasa-biasa saja di pagi hari, setinggi seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan sebelah kaus kaki. Dia adalah Lola saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Dia adalah Dolly di sekolah. Dia adalah Dolores pada data isian bertitik-titik. Namun dalam pelukanku dia adalah Lolita.  (2) Dia adalah Lo. Lo yang tampak sederhana di pagi hari, dengan tingginya seratus lima puluh senti, mengenakan kaus kaki sebelah. Dia adalah Lola, saat mengenakan celana panjang longgar. Saat di sekolah, dia adalah Dolly. Dalam dokumen resmi dia adalah Dolores. Namun dalam pelukanku dia selalu menjadi Lolita. 
(3) Did she have a precursor? She did, indeed she did. In point of fact, there might have been no Lolita at all had I not loved, one summer, a certain initial girl-child. In a princedom by the sea. Oh when? About as many years before Lolita was born as my age was that summer. You can always count on a murderer for a fancy prose style. (3) Apakah dia memang seorang titisan? Ya, pasti. Kenyataannya, tak bakal ada Lolita sama sekali jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah? Bertahun-tahun sebelum Lolita dilahirkan pada musim panas itu. Ah, kalian selalu bisa mengandalkan seorang pembunuh untuk menulis prosa yang indah. (3) Apakah dia pernah dilahirkan dalam wujud orang lain sebelumnya? Ya, sudah pasti. Kenyataannya, Lolita tak akan pernah ada jika aku tak pernah jatuh cinta kepada seorang gadis belia pada suatu musim panas di sebuah puri di tepi laut. Oh, kapankah itu? Kira-kira bertahun-tahun yang lalu, sebelum Lolita berusia sama denganku pada saat peristiwa musim panas itu terjadi. Percayalah, seorang pembunuh selalu bisa diandalkan untuk menulis sebuah prosa yang indah.
(4) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, exhibit number one is what the seraphs, the misinformed, simple, noble-winged seraphs, envied. Look at this tangle of thorns. (4) Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, yang mula-mula akan kutunjukkan adalah apa yang dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang telah salah mengerti itu. Sudilah melihat selaksa sulur duri yang rumit membelit ini. (4) Para anggota sidang juri yang terhormat, pertunjukan yang mula-mula akan kuperlihatkan adalah mengenai hal yang telah dicemburui oleh para malaikat-malaikat bersayap yang salah mengerti itu. Marilah kita lihat jalinan kisah dari duri-duri yang membelit ini.



The translated text of Lolita, especially the first chapter, to Bahasa Indonesia by Anton Kurnia, still have some failures in delivering the message from its SL text (English). In one hand, the translator tries to maintain the delicacy of the wordplay used by the author, Vladimir Nabokov, but in the other hand the translator ignores the prominent function of the translation, which is to deliver the full message and to do so in such natural ways in the context of TL readers.



Hariyanto, Sugeng. 2008. Translation Quality Assessment in Translation Studies.

House, Juliane. 2001. Translation Quality Assessment: Linguistic Description versus Social Evaluation. Meta, (on-line journal), XL VI, 2, 2001. Retrieved online June 10th 2013.

Nabokov, Vladimir. 2006. Lolita. London: Penguin Books.

Nabokov, Vladimir. 2008. Lolita. Jakarta: Serambi.

Said, Mashadi. 2002. Menilai Terjemahan. Jurnal Ilmiah Sastra Bahasa vol. 7 no. 2 (Dec. 2002), ISSN: 1410-9077. Retrieved online July 1st 2013.


Laila Sarah Puspita Sari

A Candidate of Master of Applied Linguistics of Universitas Brawijaya


According to Newmark (1988:7), translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language. Then Nida and Taber (1982:12) propose a rather complete definition of translation, that “Translating consisting of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in term of style.” Meanwhile, Catford (1965:20) also states that translation is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL).

Working on translation, technically, a translator has to know the equivalency in translating the source language to the target one. As we know, translation peers always encounter different changes in equivalence within different language levels ranging from physical forms into meaning. Bell (1991:20) defines the phenomenon as “the replacement of a representation of a text in one language by a representation of an equivalent text in a second language.” Baker (2001:77) defines equivalence as the relationship between a source text (ST) and a target text (TT) that has allowed the TT to be considered as a translation of the ST in the first place. From what the experts’ statement above, we can say that equivalence is the most important element in the process of translation.

This paper discusses translation problems arising from lack of equivalence at word level; what does a translation do when there is no word in the target language which expresses the same meaning as to be source language word? Based on those considerations, this paper deals with one of the types of equivalence that Baker proposed in her study, that is equivalence at word level. The data are taken from one of the Dan Brown’s novel, “The Lost Symbol” (Chapter 1) translation of English into Indonesian.



Baker (2001) explores the notion of equivalence at different levels: equivalence at word level, equivalence above word level, grammatical equivalence, textual equivalence, and pragmatic equivalence. These levels of equivalence are closely related to the translation process, including all different aspects of translation and hence putting together the linguistic and the communicative approach. There is n on-to-one correspondence between orthographic words and elements of meaning within across language (Baker, 2001:11). In her book, Baker also describes common problems of non-equivalence at word level and the strategies dealing with it.

Culture-specific concepts

The source-language word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target language (abstract or concrete; it may relate to a religious belief, a social custom or even a type of food).

The source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language

The source language word may express a concept which is known in the target culture but simply not lexicalized, that is not “allocated” a target language word to express it.

The source-language word is semantically complex

The source-language word may be semantically complex.

The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning.

The target language may make more or fewer distinctions in meaning than the source language.

The target language lacks a superordinate

The target language may have specific words (hyponyms) but no general word (superordinate) to head the semantic field.

The target language lacks a specific term (hyponym)

More commonly, languages tend to have general words (superordinate) but lack specific ones (hyponyms).

Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective

Physical perspective has to do with where things or people are in relation to one another or to a place, as expressed in pairs of words such as come/go, take/bring, arrive/depart, etc. perspective may also include the relationship between participants in the discourse (tenor).

Differences in expressive meaning

There may be a target-language word which has the same propositional meaning as the source-language word, but it may have a different expressive meaning.

Difference in form

There is often no equivalent in the target language for particular form in the source text.

Differences in frequency and purpose of using specific forms.

Even when a particular form does have a ready equivalent in the target language, there may be a difference in the frequency with which it is used or the purpose for which it is used.

The use of loan words in the source text

Words such as au fait, chic and alfresco in English are used for their prestige value, because they add an air of sophistication to the text or its subject matter. This is often lost in translation because it is not always possible to find a loan word with the same meaning in the target language.

In addition, Baker also proposes some strategies dealing with it as follows:

  • Translation by a more general word (superordinate)
  • Translation by a more neutral/ less expressive word
  • Translation by cultural substitution, which involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression with a target-language item which does not have the same propositional meaning but is likely to have a similar impact on the target reader.
  • Translation using a loan word or loan words plus explanation,which is particularly common in dealing with culture-specific items, modern concepts and buzz words. Following the loan word with an explanation is very useful when the word in question is repeated several times in the text.
  • Translation by paraphrase using a related word, whic his used when the concept expressed by the source item is lexicalized in the target language but in a different form, and when the frequency with which a certain form is used in the source text is significantly higher than would be natural in the target language.
  • Translation by paraphrase using unrelated words. This is done if the concept expressed by the source item is not lexicalized at all in the target language, the paraphrase strategy can still be used in some contexts.
  • Translation by omission is adopted whenthe meaning conveyed by a particular item or expression is not vital enough to the development of the text to justify distracting the reader with lengthy explanations, translators can and often do simply omit translating the word or expression in question.
  • Translation by illustration is a useful option if the word which lacks an equivalent in the target language refers to a physical entity which can be illustrated, particularly if there are restrictions on space and if the text has to remain short, concise and to the point.



In this paper, the data are categorized based on the problems of equivalence at word level.

  1. Culture-specific concepts
  • the 555-foot –> 555 kaki (170 meter)
  • turtlenecks –> Kaus berleher tinggi
  • cravat –> cravat (dasi)
  • fascalia –> fasealia (syal pengikat leher)
  • Staccato –> suara berderak
  1. The source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language
  • austere –> sederhana
  • daybag –> tas bahu
  1. The source-language word is semantically complex
  • unloading platform –> platform untuk menurunkan penumpang
  • collegiate cordovan loafers –> sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa
  1. The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning
  • voice –> aksen
  • read –> membahas
  1. The target language lacks of superordinate
  • leaned –> mencondongkan tubuh
  • saying –> mengucapkan
  • climbing –> naik merayapi ­
  1. The target language lacks of specific term
  • craning –> menjulurkan leher
  • spire –> menara
  1. Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective
  • you –> kau
  • child –> bocah
  • boy –> anak laki-laki
  • boy –> bocah
  • woman –> perempuan
  • your guest –> tamu Anda
  1. Difference in form
  • unexpected –> tak terduga
  • Hate –> tidak ingin
  • background –> latar belakang
  1. The use of loan words in the source text
  • corporate jet –> jet korporasi
  • symbology –> simbologi
  • philanthropist –> filantrop
  • dynasty –> dinasti
  • silhouette –> siluet
  • etymologically –> etimologis


As mentioned in the previous part, Baker in her book “In Other Words” proposed some strategies dealing with the problems that translator may face in translating the English into Indonesian. In this part, the work focuses on analyzing the problem and the strategies that the translator deals with.

Culture-specific concepts

a. Data: the 555-foot –> 555 kaki (170 meter)

ST : The 555-foot marble-faced obelisk marked the nation’s heart.

TT : Obelisk berpermukaan marmer setinggi 555 kaki (170 meter) itu menandai jantung bangsa ini.

It is proper for Western to say foot to describe the measure of altitude or length. The foot is still legally recognized as an alternative expression of length in Canada, officially defined as a unit derived from the metric metre and still commonly used in the United Kingdom, although both have partially metricated their units of measurement. The foot is widely used outside the English-speaking country ( In this phenomenon, the translator decides to translate it into 555 kaki and add explanation (170 meter) in which the measurement of length in meter sounds familiar in Indonesia.

b. Data: turtlenecks –> Kaus berleher tinggi

ST : The woman laughed. ‘Those turtlenecks you wear are so dated. You’d look much sharper in a tie!’

TT : Perempuan itu tertawa. “Kaus berleher tinggi yang Anda kenakan kuno sekali. Anda akan tampak jauh lebih cerdas dengan kemeja berdasi!”

American describes turtleneck as a garment, usually a sweater with a close-fitting, round, and high collar that folds over and covers the neck. Indonesian does not have the equivalence word of turtleneck because it is originally worn by American and Australian. The translator tries to find the cultural substitution for this in order to be more understandable for Indonesian. Therefore Kaus berleher tinggi is the best translation for turtleneck by describing how turtleneck looks like, that is t-shirt with high collar that folds over and cover the neck.

c. Data: cravat –> cravat (dasi)

d. Data: fascalia –> fasealia (syal pengikat leher)

ST: —and despite the headmaster’s romantic claims that the origin of the cravat went back to the silk fasealia worn by Roman orators to warm their vocal cords,—

TT : —Walaupun ada pernyataan romantis dari pemimpin akademi bahwa cravat (dasi) berasal dari fasealia (syal pengikat leher) sutra yang dikenakan para orator Romawi untuk menghangatkan pita suara,—

Western describe cravat is a scarf or band worn around the neck as a tie especially by men. Cravat means the forerunner to the modern tie. Historically, a cravat is a symbol of culture and elegance associated with Croats in the 17th century ( Nowadays cravat is worn by bridegroom of Western style. Again there is no equivalent word for cravat in Indonesian and we only have tie to call kind of long piece of cloth around the neck. In consequence, the translator uses a strategy by keeping the source text and give explanation as an addition, which sounds general or neutral for Indonesian that cravat can be described as the same as tie.

The same phenomenon exist in translating fascalia, there is no equivalence word for fascalia then the translator keeps the word and give explanation in the bracket

The source-language word is semantically complex

  • unloading platform –> platform untuk menurunkan penumpang

ST: Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform.

TT: Hampir sampai, ujar bocah itu kepada diri sendiri, seraya menjulurkan leher dan mendongak memandangi platform untuk menurunkan penumpang.

In this case, the source text word is semantically complex and the translator decides to translate unloading platform intoplatform untuk menurunkan penumpang. The strategy which is applied is translation by paraphrasing using a related word

  • collegiate cordovan loafers –> sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa

ST: He was wearing his usual charcoal turtleneck, Harris Tweed jacket, khakis, and collegiate cordovan loafers—

TT: Seperti biasa, dia mengenakan kaus abu-abu tua berleher tinggi, jaket Harris Tweed, celana panjang khaki, dan sepatu kulit santai model mahasiswa

The same problem happens in this part of text. If we translate it word-for-word, it causes a long text to explain one by one the term of that kind of shoes. Then, the same strategies used to transfer the appropriate meaning that is by paraphrasing using related words to get the understandable and acceptable translation.

The source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning

  • voice –> aksen

ST: ‘Hello! Hello!’ a singsong British voice shouted from across the tarmac. ‘Professor Langdon?’

TT: “Halo! Halo!” teriak sebuah suara merdu beraksen Inggris dari seberang aspal. “Profesor Langdon?”

Literally, voice means sounds made when speaking or singing. For example, she is lost her voice. For this case, the translator considers the addition of information of British in which there is a stress that the character is speaking British English. Cultural substitution is used as the strategy to make it appropriate translation. Therefore he translates it into aksen which is not the literal meaning of voice.

  • read –> membahas

ST: ‘My book group read your book about the sacred feminine and the church!

TT: “Kelompok pembaca buku saya membahas buku Anda tentang sacred feminine dan gereja!

It is a great choice translating read into membahas, whereas the literal meaning of read is membaca. By considering the previous words, it is mentioned already the ‘pembaca’ is used to translate book. Word-for word translation is not the appropriate strategy to solve this problem. Therefore the translator applies the strategy of paraphrase by using the related words by considering some aspects that support the diction choice. The diction choice is acceptable for reader because they have the same information that a book group’s activity is not only reading the book but also discussing the contents of the book.

The target language lacks of superordinate

  • climbing –> naik merayapi ­

ST: Petugas lift sedang mengucapkan sesuatu menenangkan mengenai piston bersambung dan konstruksi besi tempa lift.

TT: Lift Otis yang naik merayapi pilar selatan Menara Eiffel itu dipenuhi turis.

We see that the translator decided to make his translation as natural as possible in Indonesian. He considered his understanding of Eiffel Tower that people can see Paris from above and people already know about it. Meaning that, there is the same knowledge between the reader and the writer. The decision of the collocation used is appropriate dealing with the ‘lift’ . Here ‘lift’ is subject which is climbing with the help of machine. If we translate it into ‘memanjat’, it is not acceptable because we use ‘memanjat’ only for human and some animals. Also the translator makes it more expressive by using naik merayapi. He wants people to imagine what was happening with the lift at that time’

It can be said that it is the strategy of the translator to translate it in two phrases, ‘naik merayap’ intead of ‘naik’. He tends to keep the natural meaning of ‘climbing’ in the text, in which the author describes the ‘lift’ is moving up slowly. Then if he only translates it ‘merayap’, it is less accurate in fact ‘merayap’ can be down, up, right or left.

 The target language lacks of specific term

  • craning –> menjulurkan

ST: Almost there, the boy told himself, craning his neck and looking up at the unloading platform.

TT: Hampir sampai, ujar bocah itu kepada diri sendiri, seraya menjulurkan leher dan mendongak memandangi platform untuk menurunkan penumpang.

In my opinion, the translation of menjulurkan leher fot craning is not appropriate. In Bahasa, menjulurkan is commonly expressed for tongue, menjulurkan lidah. Hence, we need more acceptable word to transfer the meaning of craning. Because of Bahasa lacks of specific term so the strategy used is paraphrase by using related word. The activity which is associated with stretching out one’s neck in order to see something can be called mengulurkan leher in Bahasa.

  • spire –> menara

ST: Outside the window the sun had set, but Langdon could still make out slender silhouette of the world’s largest obelisk, rising on the horizon like the spire of an ancient gnomon.

TT: Matahari sudah terbenam di balik jendela, tapi Langdon masih bisa melihat siluet ramping obelisk terbesar di dunia, yang menjulang di cakrawala seperti menara jam kuno.

A more general word is used as the strategy. Yet, the translator gives lack information to transfer the meaning of spire. He translates spire into menara and the reader will imagine the whole menara (tower), in fact, in his book, the author wants the readers to imagine the special part of the tower that is the spire. In the source text, English has specific word to call the top of the tower that is spire, while in Bahasa it needs two words to call the spire. In my opinion, it is acceptable if the translator translates the word spire into puncak menara in order to get the more specific meaning and information for the reader.

Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective

  • you –> kau

ST: ‘You look pale, son. You should have stayed on the ground.’

TT: “Kau tampak pucat, Nak. Seharusnya kau tetap di bawah.”

The Kau in this dialogue is used as the consideration of poetic term of novel and it is generally used as bound morpheme of engkau. Because of the social status between the speakers, in daily conversation kau sounds rude compared to kamu. In my view, kamu term is more acceptable for Indonesian. Kamu is considered a more familiar way of talking; it stands in the middle of formal and informal. Kamu is used with your sister, brothers, cousins, and other family members of the same age or status.

  • your car –> mobil Anda

ST: ‘If you’ll come with me, sir, your car is waiting.’

TT: ”Ikuti saya, Pak, mobil Anda sudah menunggu.”

Anda is very formal way of talking, like between businessmen, to people that are older, to person that you respect, to teachers, or to strangers. It can also be used as a barrier, because it shows that you have no interests of forming a close relationship with the other person. Considering the relationship between Langdon and the driver shows the different social status between them and the term of Anda is accurate to be used in the translation.

Difference in form

  • unexpected –> tak terduga

ST: The daydream about his late father, Langdon suspected, had been stirred by this morning’s unexpected invitation from Langdon’s longtime mentor, Peter Solomon.

TT: Langdon curiga, agaknya lamunan tentang almarhum ayahnya dipicu oleh undangan tak terduga pagi ini dari mentor lamanya, Peter Solomon.

To describe the minimal formal element of meaning in language, as distinct from word, this may or may not contain several elements of meaning. Thus, an important difference between morpheme and words is that a morpheme cannot contain more than one element of meaning and cannot be further analyzed. The term of tak terduga is an accurate diction for unexpected.

The use of loan words in the source text

  • corporate jet –> jet korporasi

ST: He was sitting all alone in the enormous cabin of a Falcoln 2000EX corporate jet as it bounced its way through turbulence.

TT: Dia sedang duduk sendirian di kabin luas jet korporasi Falcon 2000EX yang berguncang-guncang melewati turbulensi.

In my view, it does not need to keep the loan word in the translation when we have the original word in Bahasa. Corporate can be translated into perusahaan which is more acceptable and understandable for the target reader.

  • symbology –> simbologi

ST: He’d been halfway through reviewing Masonic symbology when his mind had drifted.

TT: Dia sudah setengah jalan meninjau simbologi Mason ketika benaknya tadi berkelana.

Symbology basedon Merriam Webster is the art of expression by symbol, or the study or interpretation of symbol. Bahasa does not have the equivalence word of this term so the translator decides to keep it in his translation and this strategy is exactly appropriate to solve the problem.

  • philanthropist –> filantrop

ST: The fifty – eight-year-oldphilanthropist, historian, and scientist had taken Langdon—

TT: Finlantrop, sejarahwan, dan ilmuwan berusia 58 tahun itu sudah membantu dan membimbing Langdon—

As the same as the previous discussion about using the loan word, in this case the translator does the same thing consider that in Bahasa, we have no term to substitute philanthropist.

  • dynasty –> dinasti

ST: Despite the man’s influential family dynasty and massive wealth,

TT: Walaupun dinasti keluarga Solomon sangat berpengaruh dan kekayaannya luar biasa,

Sometimes translator should not use the loan word to play save in his translation when we have our own term in the target text. When we talk about dynasty, it deals with royal family in a country and the same thing happens in Indonesia. Dinasti term in Bahasa is something like looking back in the China Kingdom era hundred years ago. It is better if dynasty is translated into keturunan because it is more neutral and familiar for Indonesia.

  • clipboard –> clipboard

ST: Langdon looked up to see a middle-aged woman with a badge and clipboard hurrying toward him, waving happily as he approached.

TT: Langdon mendongak dan melihat seorang perempuan setengah baya dengan lencana dan clipboard bergegas menghapirinya, lalu melambaikan tangan dengan gembira ketika Langdon mendekat.

As the same reason and opinion in the discussion above, I propose that the more acceptable translation for clipboard is papan tulis kecil. Some people will not get the same understanding what clipboard is if the translator keeps the English term.



Based on finding the analysis there are eight types of problems found dealing with the equivalence at word level in The Lost Symbol translation of English into Bahasa: Culture-specific concepts, the source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language, the source-language word is semantically complex, the source and the target languages make different distinctions in meaning, the target language lacks of superordinate, the target language lacks of specific term, differences in physical or interpersonal perspective, difference in form, and the use of loan words in the source text. The most problem faced is the use of loan words, found five terms in English which are no equivalence word in Bahasa. The strategy used by the translator is to loan the word because the term is also familiar for the target reader.



Baker, M. 2001. In Other Words: a Course Book on Translation. London and New York: Routledge

Bell, Roger.T. 1991. Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. London and New York: Longman.

Catford, J. C. 1978. A Linguistic Theory of Translation. London: Oxford University Press

Newmark, P. 1988. A Textbook in Translation. London: Prentice Hall

Nida, Eugene and Charles R. Taber. 1982. The Theory and Practice of Translation. Leiden: E. J. Brill